The KISS Principle translates to Keep-It-Simple-Stupid. The phrase was born during the 1960’s. It was used in the context of military engineering design. Keep the design as simple, straightforward and uncomplicated as possible. (Source: Wikipedia) Along the way, the word “stupid” got inserted in the phrase to create the KISS acronym. No one on those teams was anywhere close to stupid. 😉
How about using the KISS Principle as the basis of design for your business strategy?
- The KISS Principle focuses you and your sales team, your marketing team, your customer service team, your you-name-it-team on a central question your buyer is thinking about at all times. That question is “So What?”
- When your team continuously clarifies your offerings in terms of “So What?” you arrive at simpler, cleaner, more elegant solutions.
- When your solutions become more streamlined, all the parts become greater than simply the sum of those individual parts.
- When your answers provide business synergy for your customers, you and your team add greater business value to their equation. You differentiate yourselves.
- When you and your team differentiate yourselves from your competitors, clients regard you with a different business filter. You become part of their strategy conversation instead of being solely relegated to the RFQ / RFP vendor bucket.
Incorporating the KISS Principle into business strategy gets you and your company unstuck. Your conversations – with customers and with each other – become more succinct. Your value propositions become more relevant. Your business management processes become more collaborative.
The KISS Principle concentrates you and your team on identifying and incorporating internal resources and personnel that add value to your client’s business outcome. You stop doing everything on your own. You learn that asking for help isn’t an admission of incompetence. You are not stupid. On the contrary.
This principle focuses you on identifying “what you do” as a series of creative as well as operational processes. These processes are not necessarily put into play in a linear manner. Rather, you incorporate them simultaneously in creating, selling, implementing and monitoring solutions and strategies.
The processes you leverage throughout your business and design development and implementation stages imprint themselves on your own professional habits. You become more competent. You become more confident. You become more holistic. You become more interesting to your customers.
The KISS Principle becomes an elegant strategy for keeping customers focused on what is relevant and valuable to their short and long term business strategy. You gain better control of the sales and negotiation processes. You gain greater control of identification of project specifications prior to that contract being won and coming in-house for development and implementation. You cut down on the number and nature of non-negotiated, post-sale “add-ons.”
Incorporating the KISS Principle into your professional arsenal hybridizes your skill sets. You are continuously engaged in question-and-answer conversations within as well as outside your current professional comfort level. You challenge yourself to become More Than.
The goal of using the KISS Principle in business strategy is collaborative problem-solving that leads to innovative solutions for your customers. You want current and future customers to ask you: “What do you think?” rather than “Can you make this / do this / get this?”
How do you and your team plan to incorporate the KISS Principle into customer acquisition and retention strategies? How will you leverage the KISS Principle in your conversations with internal colleagues?
Babette N. Ten Haken is a strategist, coach, analyst, author and blogger. Her focus: the interrelationship between teams, leadership and culture in technology and manufacturing. Her Workshops and Professional Coaching Tune-Ups focus you and your teams on context, clarity and confidence in the execution of strategy. Babette’s Playbook of collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.
Image source: Fotolia