There’s a famous quote from Tony Robbins that most, if not all, entrepreneurs would agree with. “Complexity is the enemy of execution.” 

In simple terms, Robbins is suggesting that anything other than keeping things simple is a waste of your time and effort. 

Turning his quote around for a second, there’s a cogent line of thought that complexity is, in fact, the enemy of success. 

If a business cannot execute, then it surely isn’t going to be a successful business. 

The problem with complexity is that it takes focus from a more simple and effective line of thought. In so doing, it clearly impacts on confidence and understanding from those who allow such thoughts to enter their heads in the first instance. 

Keeping things simple is, actually, quite easy.  

Simplicity is genius

Though many find the reality anything but. Not just in business either. The former West Ham United and England football manager, Ron Greenwood, said way back in the 1960s “Simplicity is genius.” Johan Cruyff, lauded as one of the innovators of the game, echoed those sentiments in the 1970s by saying “Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is.” 

Our actions and the quality of our solutions can be affected by complexity and given that humans have a natural tendency to overcomplicate things, the status quo doesn’t look like changing anytime soon.  

As businesses become more connected globally, together with a raft of new technological tools to get used to, the rate of complexity seems to be increasing. In order to see a decrease, it’s important to ‘declutter.’ That’s not just physically, but metaphorically too. 

All of the things going round in the heads of those at the sharp end of a deal needn’t be so.

Healthy mind

Reducing the complexity is the first stage on the road to a healthy, sharper and therefore simpler mind. 

Indeed, simplicity should be the start point not the end game. Surely, it’s better to start any new situation with simplicity in mind, and to avoid complexity as much as is possible. 

“Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to make something simple,” so said serial entrepreneur, Richard Branson. 

The key is to not put barriers to success up before you start. Taking a ‘simplicity first‘ way of working forward is almost certainly the way to remove most traces of complexity from getting deals done.  

Keep it simple

Look at Easyjet as an example. 

A budget airline that, whilst not the first in the space, has a model that is very simple indeed. No fuss, no frills. It works of course, as thousands of satisfied customers will tell you. 

Dealing with complexity at the outset is a sure fire way of ensuring simplicity towards the end.  

So how do you ‘keep it simple’? 

Essentially by being inventive, bold and aggressive. Constantly look out for simple solutions to everything that you do, and, where possible, develop that simplicity first mindset. 

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