Complexity is bad for business. As business leaders, we know this to be true. Yet organizations of all sizes, across all industry sectors are struggling to control layers of complexity that are stifling innovation, hampering customer service, slowing productivity, and ultimately inhibiting growth.\nFaced with a complex, confusing workplace, business teams tend to retreat into silos and just focus on trying to get their specific jobs done. Complexity kills collaboration and impacts the ability to share ideas across teams. This is particularly detrimental given today\u2019s fast-changing markets where innovation is essential to generate new product and revenue streams.\nAccording to a recent Harvard Business Review survey of complexity in business, 86% of all respondents reported that their business processes and decision-making had become so complex that it was hindering their ability to grow. And while half of those participating in the survey indicated that their organization had an initiative in place to manage complexity, one in four respondents admit their attempts to tame complexity have failed.\nGiven today\u2019s \u2018new normal\u2019 of ever-changing technology, global teams, mergers and acquisitions - what can a business do to remove and control complexity?\nThough some level of business complexity is inevitable in our interconnected, technology-enabled world, companies would be wise to heed the words of American computer scientist Alan Perlis, who noted, \u201cFools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Geniuses remove it.\u201d\nFirst, you need to declare the problem and the mission. Make it a priority to focus on simplifying your business.\u00a0 It\u2019s hard, but it\u2019s worth the effort. Teams want simplicity.\nWhen it comes to fighting complexity, processes matter. Nearly seven in ten Harvard Business Review respondents ranked the flexibility and agility to change business processes as needed as the most important factor in managing complexity, followed closely by simpler deployment, integration, and use of IT systems.\nInnovation is a human-driven team sport we\u2019re taxing by making simple things like requesting a password change, or ordering stationery, appear to need a seventeen-step process with ten decision diamonds. We\u2019ve been adding to the complexity problem in the way we communicate processes across teams \u2013 making things appear far more complex than they need to be.\nOrganizations can start to remove complexity by simplifying processes and making them work for instead of against their teams.\u00a0Here\u2019s how:\n1. Use a process platform as your single point of truth for process information\nCreate a collaboration point and platform for \u2018how we do things here.\u2019 Effectively capturing the critical process know-how of the organization is the key first step toward exposing the level of unnecessary complexity that exists.\n2. Make your process knowledge simple for teams to use\nProcess information needs to be engaging, user-friendly, and useful. If your process guidance isn\u2019t easy to use, change it. Consider the needs of each team when deciding the format to present process flows, drilling down to more detail if and when needed. If it\u2019s easy to understand and easy to use, teams will embrace process knowledge as a change enabler.\n3. Assign accountable owners to all business processes\nA healthy process improvement culture depends on empowered process owners who step up and take responsibility.\u00a0 If teams don\u2019t feel they own their processes, their ability and belief that they have a right to change processes in order to reduce complexity will be limited.\n4. Develop a culture where process owners have the authority and mandate to simplify their processes\nProcess owners need to know they have the right to try - and sometimes fail - in their efforts to improve and innovate. This sort of message can only flow from the top, from your chief process owner, through your process champions, to process owners.\nThere are no short-cuts to eliminating complexity, you can\u2019t just think simple. It\u2019s by ignoring the problem, by failing to be \u2018intentional\u2019 about keeping your business simple that things get out of hand.\nAs the Mark Twain quote goes, \u201cI didn\u2019t have time to write a shorter letter, so I wrote a long one instead.\u201d\nBe intentional. Invest in simplifying processes and process communication to empower your teams to drive change, simplify their work, and find better, faster ways of doing things.