[...] To help managers escape the hold of the hard and soft approaches to management, and so better manage business complexity, Morieux and Tollman have devised the six simple rules of their book title. The main idea behind them is to help create more value bymanaging complexity better. But the authors claim that as managers “peel away the stitches and patches” that have accumulated they will also eliminate complicatedness and its resulting costs. As such, the rules amount to what they call “a third revolution in management – ‘smart simplicity’.” Managing complexity and taking away complicatedness enables organizations to improve performance and engagement. This creates a virtuous circle where better performance creates more opportunities for people, more opportunities generate greater engagement and greater engagement encourages higher aspirations and contributes to even better performance.
It sounds convincing. But what are these rules? They are:
1) Understand what your people do.
2) Reinforce integrators (by giving units and individuals the power to foster cooperation).
3) Increase the total quantity of power so that people can be mobilized to satisfy the multiple performance requirements.
4) Increase reciprocity by such means as eliminating internal monopolies and removing some resources.
5) Extend the shadow of the future by creating direct feedback loops that impel people to do their work today in a way that will satisfy performance requirements that matter in the time ahead.
6) Reward those who cooperate, with consequent implications for transparency, innovation and ambitious aspirations.