Excerpt from Chapter 6 of the book, Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less.

If solid goals are established and the majority of time is spent examining and tweaking systems toward those goals, great results will materialize naturally. Conversely, think about ‘holistic’ solutions that cover life’s complexity like a blanket: Another market for the product, a better manager for the company, a larger house, a new boss, a new spouse. These are attempts to straighten things out all at once and although occasionally appropriate, are opposite of the continuous system improvement efforts I am proposing here.”

“Stop looking for an immediate hand-of-God solution to problems. Drop the idea that life is convoluted and mysterious, strip away the complexity and get to work repairing the underlying inefficient mechanisms one by one. Trying to find peace and personal control through drugs, food, work, money, esoteric psychobabble, fanatical adherence to religious or political dogma, running away, or excessive preoccupation with the external—obsession—is an abomination of the simplicity of it all. These are wholesale applications that falsely promise to soothe life’s complexities in one fell swoop. Easy buttons! Instead, the Work the System methodology goes inside and fixes building-block components one at a time. It’s about making small, mechanical system improvements that add up over time to a structure made of steel. This is what you want, rather than being swallowed up by the promise of some cure-all that only masks chronic internal inefficiency.”

“Let’s set aside the complexity and find a way to manage the mechanics of the systems that are right in front of us. The first steps you’ll take include setting direction and deciding on strategy.”

(You will begin this process by creating the Strategic Objective and the General Operating Principles.” These documents are fully explained in chapter 10.)

Photo by Iain Gordon via flickr used under a creative Commons License.