In 1996, after ten years away, Steve Jobs came back to a nearly bankrupt Apple and found they were working on about fifty projects. He binned over half these projects straight away, and instructed his teams to focus on just the high value ones. Within a year they had delivered the industry-changing iMac.
Much of Steve Jobs’ success was down to his ability to create simplicity from complicated situations.
“Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains”.
But creating this simplicity is becoming harder than ever. In one day of our 21st century lives, we receive as much information as someone living five hundred years ago would have done in an entire lifetime. So if you ever feel a touch overwhelmed, that’s why. Our society has developed much faster than our brain.
We can’t and probably don’t want to turn back time. But our new reality means we need to be stronger than ever at creating simplicity from complex. Strategies can be complicated, but to drive human behavior focus needs to be simple.
When we achieve this, it’s crazy powerful. Imagine if at any given moment, any person in your organisation could tell you the three things they were focused on right now. And imagine if that BIG 3 lined up with their teams’ and the organisation’s goals, and their own Sweet Spot – the areas they are strongest in, love the most and where they are able to make the biggest difference. That’s what real focus looks like.