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I am in a new role and need to create a policy and process around the things that we do. The temptation when creating anything new is to protect yourself by overloading it with pages and pages of text that enforces control. If it’s written down somewhere you can’t be blamed if things go wrong, right?!?

The end outcome of this thinking is that if you printed off all the documents it would need a thousand trees.

I am trying to think about things differently.

Here are the thoughts I take in with me every time we talk about the policy and process.

  • Do we need to add a policy here?
  • Is there not a current policy we can modify and simplify?
  • How do we make the process easy to work with?
  • In our personal life self service has opened up so many markets, how can we transfer this into corporate life?
  • Can the path of least resistance work for us too?
  • What role can technology play to avoid creating another paper based form?
  • What would happen if we didn’t do anything?

I particularly like that last question because it helps to focus minds on the real issues.

To quote Einstein, “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.”

Save a thousand trees. Strive for simplicity.