Monday, April 8, 2019

Setting The Stage

I don’t know about you, but sometimes when using the Google search engine, I chuckle at the peripheral deadbeat I’m Feeling Lucky button. Almost redundant, my memory is however nuanced enough to remember when digital tools were less ubiquitous. To me, I’m Feeling Lucky serves as a metaphor for information overload and material excess, especially for people in affluent nations who are highly susceptible to attention deficit and decision fatigue.

That said, for those who were lucky enough to come of age in a hyperactive, social media-obsessed consumer culture, the idea of too much of anything might seem quaint. Furthermore, concepts such as frugality, minimalism and simplicity could sound outright bizarre.

Paradoxically, this same millennial generation that could hardly lay claim to a conservation ethos is engaged in the fight to save the environment and possibly reverse climate change meltdown. To mitigate this existential threat, it seems to me that we all need to take a deep breath, stop pointing fingers at each other, and settle down to agree what shape we wish to bequeath our planet to future generations. As the world edges towards the precipice of colossal self-harm, it would be unhelpful to overstate the challenge, but equally it would be reckless to ignore it altogether.  

The basic underpinning of More from Less is that the quantum of most resources is finite; therefore, in a competitive marketplace, this should encourage strategies for loss reduction, cost savings, streamlined processes, simpler operations, and the innovative use of technology for sustainable growth. By the same logic, if the aggregate quantity of a resource is perceived to be infinite and unregulated, consumption might have no bounds.

During my years at Accenture, I specialised in the process and technology skill domains where the rule of thumb was that good technology cannot mask a poorly defined business process. As a systems integrator, the constant challenge was how to optimise the alignment of people, processes and technology to achieve superior performance and efficiency gains in a globalised business landscape. Implicitly, I discovered that simplicity trumps complexity while a minimalist mindset is hard to instil.

To that end, any organisation that is able to offer differentiated products and services fastest at the right price, while delivering high quality and exceptional customer service, trounces the competition. However, building a corporate culture with a winning mentality needs strong leadership with a clear vision. It also requires developing the management skills to execute a corporate strategy that drives creative investments and the judicious allocation of resources for the best outcomes.

To be sure, the scope of this blog extends beyond the corporate world to grimy industrial production, waste management, energy, and the environment, down to how the idea of More from Less can help you live an imaginative, prudent and enriched life that benefits your family, organisation, community and, dare I say, the world at large. In the spirit of good stewardship, are we all ready to heed the call to consume less and conserve more?

Lastly, I implore you to take a moment to read the blog’s Methodology and to subscribe for future updates.


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