Simplify - that's the goal of the complexity reduction program within Bayer AG. Working life should be made simpler, clearer and without unnecessary hurdles. Each employee can contribute to his or her area of responsibility. The dialog picture is used to talk about complexity and to identify it. It illustrates how complexity can arise, how it complicates daily work, why it harms the company. And there are tips and impulses, which can be against complexity. The dialog picture is a starting medium in complexity reduction workshops, serves as a general basis for discussion and is also offered on the intranet on PCs and iPad to deepen the topic.
THE CONTENT OF THE DIALOG PICTURE
The dialog picture is divided into three parts:
- the Bayer world
- the types of complexity
- the customer world
On the left side of the picture, the Bayer world is shown under the big Bayer logo. This shows how complexity arises through structures, working methods and processes. In the middle of the picture three arrows lead from left to right. They show the three types of complexity: the good (green), which is part of the business model and thus of the success, the given one (blue), which must be handled in the best possible way, e.g. legal requirements and the bad (red) that needs to be reduced. On the right side, the goal of the work, the customer world, is presented. This should be achieved in the best possible way - but also competitors strive for it (right picture edge).
THE DIALOG PICTURE SHOULD:
Convey theoretical background knowledge, create a common understanding of complexity, help to identify complexity, provide impulses and tips to avoid unnecessary complexity, and create the basis for a "continuous improvement mindset".
“Complexity is a tricky subject everybody in the modern world has to deal with. In order to be as successful as possible, we want to reduce unnecessary complexity. The dialogue picture provides the support we need: It helps us understand the different kinds of complexity; the good, the given and the bad. It shows why complexity must be managed on the appropriate level and how this boosts the happiness and productivity of the employees.“
INDIVIDUAL SCENES AND THEIR MEANING
Colleagues who have been working in systems for a long period which grew over time feel comfortable and often don’t realize how complex these systems are. They don’t see the “maze“. However new colleagues have difficulties to find their way and need much more help and orientation.
This scene shows how a meeting is not supposed to be: The infinity shape of the table suggests neverending unefficient discussions. The presenting “professor“ prepared “too much“ and talks technical jargon that nobody can follow.
It has to be recognized: Everyone of us causes complexity and especially in the beginning this is not easy to admit. One colleague in the picture brought her complexity-plant, she is very fond of.
The executives have a strong influence on the behavior of their employees. Different fields of action and examples were defined at a conference, which can be used by executives, to reduce complexity in their own area of responsibility.