News and Media

THOUGHTS ON WORK EXCELLENCE

April 2013

Have you ever noticed that smart, technically oriented people sometimes 'solve' complex problems with solutions that are even more complex.  Put simply, they meet complexity with complexity.  It's an easy trap to fall in to.

Near the turn of the millennium, Sony Electronics released a deluge of high quality digital gadgets -- MP3 players, digital cameras, digital camcorders, CD players, burners, etc., -- that consumers struggled to easily use.

I vividly remember, late one night, staring at a ridiculously complicated set of instructions for a Sony "Boom Box" with 'CD burner technology' -- and repetitively, banging my head on the coffee table after an hour of trying to figure the thing out.  The post-'walkman' era was not kind to Sony market dominance or brand value, and it wasn't for a lack of brainpower, manufacturing capability, or marketing muscle.

Though hardly a darling in today's news, Apple met complexity with startlingly elegant simplicity.  In doing so, they changed our world and transformed Apple's fortunes.  Apple shifted the world's expectations for technology and its ease of use, style and performance.  Suddenly we knew -- it could be done!  This accounts, I suspect, for the almost religious loyalty that many Apple customers have -- even today in the face of Apple competitors who have greatly simplified and improved their customer experience.  By choosing to (fanatically) make their products Better & Simpler than anything previously on the market, Apple created a profitable concentration of focus in a hugely complex and competitive industry.

However complicated your business, what would be possible if you could find a way to make it dramatically better & simpler?  Said another way, what opportunity (for increased revenue, improved teaming and collaboration, more powerful customer relations) might you lose if you fail to do so?  

“The challenge from the Pinnacle team was critical to helping me improve how I connect – both internally and externally.  The support has proven to be an inflection point.”

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