Clear the clutter with 3 letters, W-H-Y?

21 05 2015

“When we clear the physical clutter from our lives, we literally make way for inspiration and ‘good, orderly direction’ to enter.” Julia Cameron

7 mergers in 20 years has given me what I hope is a good perspective on simplification.  Companies, like kids, collect clutter.  Just wade through my daughters room without kicking something on her floor, and you’ll know where I’m coming from.  My point is, institutions create clutter.  They have toll free numbers that no longer are published and/or used.  They have training manuals that are obsolete.  They have buckets-full of “this is the way we’ve always done it.

Mergers allow the 2 companies to have conversations around “why is that relevant?” They allow fresh eyes, on both sides, to really ask “Do we need that particular piece of clutter going forward?”  Just in the last year, this merger created one over-arching client survey that asks 5 questions, instead of 20 surveys for different clients asking 15 questions each.  It’s turning a 25 page intake form into one web page, and short spreadsheet of supplemental data.  It’s turned 7 computer systems into 1 system.  As long as good leaders aren’t afraid of breaking traditions, and asking tough questions about “why”, clutter will be swept up and thrown away.

Speaking of Clutter…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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