Less is more

I am sitting in front of my desk this wet Sunday, wishing it was hot and I was at Queens watching the finals of the Aegon!

In fact I am busily trying to manage 3 start-ups at once and preparing a speech for my Alma Mater, Eton, in a couple of weeks.

As I sat and cogitated about words of wisdom for 17 year old potential entrepreneurs from Eton, I reflected on that critical piece of wisdom that i often find hard to observe. Namely that “less is more”.

Everywhere around us there are examples of people, businesses and governments trying to do too many things at the same time. So I guess that I am in good company!

I mean why does this UK coalition government think that they can make these fundamental changes to the NHS without being realistic and practical about the challenges of implementation. Andrew Lansley, Stephen Dorrell, David Cameron and NickClegg and their labour predecessors all live in a fantasy land. They haven’t thought through execution at all and are trying to do too much too fast.

If this was a big business making that level of change it would build a 5 year+ plan, like Reuters or Unilever did. It would expect not to show results for at least 1-2 years and it would build proper programme management to make it all happen. But no that never happens in government.

And the key reminder for any entrepreneur is that it’s easy to have dreams and visions without decent execution. But that success only happens with a clear focus and rigorous attention to doing one or two things well.

So I am going back to try to take some more of my own medicine on this fine day and hope that I am brutal with myself!