KISS and the art of simplicity

Can you remember your first one? I do as well. It was with a girl called Theresa Ashley when I was 10 years old outside the girl’s toilets at St. Gregory’s Infant & Junior School, circa 1965, after the Miss Scullion had rung the brass handbell and everyone else had scurried to classes after ‘dinner hour’. I’ve never forgotten it!
Her family went back to Australia the next term but that’s another story.

In this context it’s something different but just as personal as it simply refers to making your work communications factual and simply understood by others so you don’t end up being the stupid one.

Keep It Simple, $tupid.

When multi-million pound European satellite missions cock-up because the team in one country are working in Metric and their partners in the UK are still using Imperial units of measurement and things don’t fit when they put them together, it doesn’t take a ’Brain of Britain’ to realise the importance of simplicity when you’re talking to your customers and co-workers.

By using the 24 hour clock as standard for all communications in 24/7 operations like cleaning services you remove one ambiguity (which I have fallen into myself) but by also not only using dates but days you can emphasise the importance of timeliness in your customer’s minds.

You’re on a mission together aren’t you?


Taking it further: It doesn’t matter whether you plumb for feet and inches or metres and centimetres but if you always use the same terms you minimise the chances of stupid stuff like a work crew turning up at the contract with an expensive ‘cherry-picker’ which doesn’t actually reach the job!

Get it wrong and it costs you and your customer money.

Sounds simple doesn’t it? Let’s ask those space scientists.

Columbus Dixon July 2010

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