Southwest Airlines is famous for its cost-saving moving of purchasing only the same Boeing 737 planes for its fleet. By standardizing the aircraft, they were able to save millions on bulk orders of replacement parts as well as requiring only one set of training for its mechanics and pilots. Simplicity just made operations easier.

Apparently fast food restaurant Fazoli’s did not get the memo.

When I was cleaning off my table, I had a hard time stacking the dirty dishes — because there were so many different types of them. As I left, there were six different sizes at a place that barely has that many different dishes on their menu. Are they all really necessary?

Before you specialize — in forms, dishes, services, products or just about anything — pause for a moment to calculate the cost of the complexity. Does the gain from “an additional” really outweigh the benefits of keeping things more simple? Have you considered the implications down the road of maintaining/updating/servicing/storing the different piece? Fewer really is greater in the end.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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