Keep it simple, like the house Jack built at GE

Unnecessary complexity can easily cut more than 10% off profits

Article by Hannah Prevett, The Sunday Times

When Jack Welch was boss of GE, the giant American conglomerate, he extolled the virtues of “speed, simplicity and self-confidence”. Businesses are now realizing why he put such an emphasis on encouraging simplicity.

Ron Ashkenas was part of a team put together by Welch 25 years ago while developing his business strategy known as the “Work-Out” process. “The simplicity part was really important,” said Ashkenas, author of Simply Effective: How to Cut Through Complexity in Your Organisation and Get Things Done. In fact, at most big companies 10% to 40% of profit is wasted because of harmful complexity.

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