Why we should all do less, better

The world has changed. As it grows increasingly complex we need a new perspective. Less, not more, is the answer…

Education. A lot of what we are taught is soon forgotten or never used. Let’s teach less – the stuff that’s really important – and teach it better.

Health. We might be healthier if doctors and hospitals did less for non-critical ailments. It’s a well-established phenomena known as iatrogenesis. In fact, many people would choose closer teamwork over more hi-tech drugs and procedures. (Watch How do we heal medicine?).

Business. Making more profit (rather than pleasing customers or employees) is the typical corporate goal. Companies like Apple and books such as Obliquity show that focusing less on profit is better for success. (For Steve Jobs, profit were secondary to making incredible products that people loved).

The environment. Consumerism fuels climate change. We are obsessed with consuming more, much of it in a quest for status… or are we? Fast Company says, “The new status symbol isn’t what you own–it’s what you’re smart enough not to own”. (Read The rise of dis-ownership).

Government. Accountability. Politicians and voters dance to the tune of grand policies and sweeping changes. But the world is too complex for that. We need lots of trials and experiments. We need continuous feedback and adaptation. We need humility. (Watch Adapt. Listen to Bad Evidence).

Poverty. Small charities such as Tanzania Rural Revival are showing that small can be rather effective. Collaboration rather than command and control. (Read Why less could mean more for Africa).

Complexity is spreading. Do less, better.

(Of course, “better” is pretty vague. The success stories above point to collaboration and feedback being a pretty good starting point!).

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