Steps to Management Success – Step 18: K.I.S.S., Sort Of . . .

Written By Rick Frishman Published March 31st, 2010

STEP EIGHTEEN

K.I.S.S., Sort Of . . .

I’m quite sure you’re familiar with the K.I.S.S. acronym—“Keep it simple, stupid.”

It’s gratuitously blunt perhaps, but an effective way to make the point that sometimes we just need to focus on the key points and not get lost in the details. The reality is that you cannot possibly plan for all of the contingencies that might occur. The solution: keep it simple. But not too simple.

WHAT IT MEANS: Train your employees well on the basics of their jobs. They should have a clear understanding of your goals and their responsibilities—but don’t try to plan for every contingency. Rather, hire intelligent people, clue them in on what you’re trying to achieve, and then make sure that they have a clear sense of what to do when “the rules” don’t clearly apply.

ACTION PLAN: Delegate enough flexibility to employees so that when the unexpected occurs, they can respond in a timely and effective manner. Rather than rules develop guidelines and communicate their underlying rationale.

EVEN BETTER: To reinforce “outside of the box” decision making, make sure to recognize and praise employees who demonstrate initiative. When poor decisions have been made, don’t punish—teach! What could have been considered, but was not? What, in retrospect, would have been a smarter course of action?

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)


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