It is at this time, perhaps more than any other, that most entrepreneurs must step back from everything around us, and spend some time on introspection. The start of the year like many other beginnings, provides us with the natural impetus to look back and look forward: to analyze, examine, and review what came before with a notion of learning and gaining insight; and to plan, organize, identify and construct the landscape and outcomes we desire for the future. A short list of Simple Rules allows us to get back to basics and create a context for what we value as individuals and organizations.
Simple Rules are a foundation to guide behavior, inform thinking and decision-making, and create the culture of an organization. They are comprised of what we believe and understand about our work; the ways in which we work; and the fundamental frameworks that enable us to do our work.
Noted physicist Dr. Stephen Wolfram asserts that the keys to understanding phenomena indeed lie in simple rules and models. “Simple rules can produce fairly complicated behavior,” and that has some very important implications for complex systems, e.g. organizations.
Look around: processes based on rules occur in every area of human enterprise. Often the rules act primarily as a constraint or a parameter for processes. But it is also common for them to be used as a way of specifying how structures and systems should be established in the first place. The rules also serve as performance principles. They are the yardstick by which we measure what we do and how we do it.
My Simple Rules are the core of my own beliefs and behavior and how I run my businesses.
- Know yourself.
- Stand up and act with intention.
- Be kind and just.
- Connect with the individual, the whole, and the greater whole.
- Search for integrity, peace, opportunity and laughter
According to the research and practice of the Human Systems Dynamics Institute and the Simple Rules Foundation you can create and/or modify your Short List of Simple Rules by answering the following questions:
- What do we value as an organization?
- What do we want to create in our relationships and organizational structures?
- How do we want to function to towards each other within the organization and our community?
- What is truly important to us?
Perhaps now is a good time for you to ask and answer these questions for yourself.
Wishing you all a happy and productive 2018! Here’s to what’s next!
Dr. Mallary Tytel is president and founder of Healthy Workplaces, a national consulting firm that focuses on helping create healthy, productive and sustainable workplaces. Grounded in the theory and practice of complexity science and human systems dynamics, HW provides customized coaching, training and facilitation, centering on the critical areas of strategy, diversity and culture, developing women leaders, and the triple bottom line. Contact Mallary at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1.860.874.7137.