Sacha Romanovitch, chief executive of Grant Thornton, is Director magazine’s April cover interview. Editor Lysanne Currie previews what’s inside the new issue – out now in print and ready to download to our Android and iPad apps
There is a great Ted talk on simplicity by Harvard professor of chemistry George Whitesides. In it he states that academics such as himself love complexity and emergence. “The real world,” he says, “puts up with it reluctantly, but what it really wants is simplicity.” Recently, the Director team has noticed a craving for simplicity – in both business and everyday life.
The uptake of hygge, the Danish philosophy of home cosiness, the need for digital detoxes, the boom in clean eating – simplicity is sought as our world becomes increasingly complex. Serial entrepreneur Richard Koch argues that businesses also now need to strategically simplify in order to be successful (p23). Citing examples such as Ikea and Uber, he urges all leaders to put it at the top of their agendas.
This month marks the 40th anniversary of Apple (p13) – a brand based on simplicity (how liberating not to need an instruction manual!). Its founder, the late, great Steve Jobs famously said: “Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
And mountain-moving is on cover star Sacha Romanovitch’s agenda. As chief executive of consulting giant Grant Thornton, she has already brought in some huge changes – capping her own salary, introducing a democratic approach to decision-making – and is now spearheading her plan to create the ‘Vibrant Economy’. Hear about it on p30.
Romanovitch also, like an increasing number of modern leaders, discusses her need for creating the space to get, as Jobs puts it, “your thinking clean”.
When we introduced our Recharge section last year, we had no idea how popular it would be or how many different methods you, the UK’s business leaders, use to reboot. Indeed, this summer we’ll be profiling chief executives who use adventure as a way to clear their heads – please drop me a line if you’d like to be included.
Have a great month!
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This month’s contents: Sacha Romanovitch, Richard Koch and more