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by Alan Hargreaves

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Entries in keeping it simple (3)


Maintaining Passion

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The case for delayed gratification

What’s going to be special about 2016? You’ll be taking yourself with you, so it’ll be much the same as last year unless you make it different.

I often fall victim to the massive annual to do list. I clear my desk in late December. Then I create a whole new rod for my back with an impressive forecast of things I am going to achieve in the New Year.

There are two problems with this. One is obvious. The list is so long that I’m already tired by the end of the first month. It clutters my head, making me easily distracted rather than focused.

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Investment and life

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Too much info, too much fear.

Got enough information? There’s plenty available. Search any idea and you’ll be overwhelmed in seconds. Little will be relevant; a lot will be rubbish.

It’s dangerous stuff.

Decades ago MIT professor, Paul Andreassen, asked two groups to trade an identical investment portfolio. One got minimal information, the other had loads of it. The former easily outperformed the well-informed latter. Information overload can curb performance.

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Staying simple in complex times

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Does rapid change call for big shifts in strategy?

It’s all going quicker. Product cycles are shorter. So is time to market. And, so the logic goes, marketing strategies and selling propositions need to change as well. Is that right?

On the contrary, refocusing on your core message can guide you through the complexity and overthink that characterizes rapid change. It keeps the business grounded and the firm’s identity intact.

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