Keep It Simple Stupid

The KISS acronym has it’s origins in engineering, with Kelly Johnson, a lead engineer of aircraft handing his team some basic tools and challenging them to design a jet aircraft. The purpose of the challenge was to ensure that the resulting aircraft could be repaired by an average mechanic, using ordinary tools, in the field and under combat conditions.

Of course, now we see the concept of simplicity popping up everywhere: “Simplify, then add lightness” said Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus Cars. “The economy, stupid” was a message used by Clinton’s campaign team to help them focus on the key issues during his 1992 presidential campaign. We see it again in the Pareto Principle that marketers trot out regularly in the context of sales (80% of sales come from 20% of customers). It has even impacted mainstream society with the mindfulness and decluttering movements.

KISS in a business context has a number of benefits:

• It helps us focus on actions that will deliver the best return or impact

• It helps us understand the route cause of problems or challenges

• It helps us see if we are ‘on track’

• It enables us to understand and communicate complex or detailed ideas

• It enables us balance the cost of inputs with value of ouputs

• It reminds us what the purpose of the business is

A great tool that we use to simplify the process of running a business is The Business Cycle.

The business cycle.png


This framework provides an overview of the key business processes along with the main tasks that every business undertakes. Use it to diagnose a weakness or skill gap, or identify tasks that you can focus on to spin the business cycle faster.

In 2019 we will be running a series of workshops based on this tool. Follow the button below for more information.

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

Hans Hoffman