Simply Effective: How to Cut Through Complexity in Your Organization and Get Things Done

  • 6h 6m 52s
  • Ron Ashkenas
  • Gildan Media
  • 2023

The level of complexity in most organizations today is staggering—and it's only getting worse. There are so many choices to be made, people to involve, processes to manage, and facts to analyze, it's impossible to get things done. And in today's hypercompetitive world, that can be fatal.

Yet complexity doesn't happen on its own. Managers unwittingly create it, often through well-intended decisions. In Simply Effective, Ron Ashkenas provides a playbook for regaining control, focused on the four major causes of complexity: constant changes in organizational structures, proliferation of products and services, evolution of business processes, and time-wasting managerial behaviors.

The author provides a diagnostic for identifying how these causes of complexity are affecting your organization—and presents practical tactics for combating each one.

Ashkenas also explains how to craft a strategy that will make simplification an ongoing driver of your company's success—no matter where you work in your organization. Abundant examples from companies like ConAgra Foods, GE, Cisco, Zurich Financial Services, and Johnson & Johnson illuminate his points.

About the Author

Ron Ashkenas is a Managing Partner of Robert H. Schaffer & Associates, where he consults to CEOs and senior executives on leadership, organizational transformation, and postmerger integration. He has served on the faculty of executive education programs at Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Kellogg School of Management, University of Michigan Ross School of Business, and Weatherhead School of Management. He is the coauthor of The Boundaryless Organization, The GE Work-Out, and Rapid Results.

In this Audiobook

  • A Final Word: Simplicity Can Make a Difference
  • Chapter 1 - Unmasking Organizational Complexity
  • Chapter 2 - Simplifying Structure
  • Chapter 3 - Reducing Product Proliferation
  • Chapter 4 - Streamlining Processes
  • Chapter 5 - Curbing Complexity-Causing Behaviors
  • Chapter 6 - Strategy for Simplicity
  • Chapter 7 - Simplicity Starts with You