Smart Simplicity

Smart Simplicity

BCG's Smart Simplicity concept eliminates unnecessary complicatedness from companies—by diagnosing problems and designing solutions.

Expanding regulations, new technologies, and rising customer expectations are just some of the complexities that organizations confront. Historically, companies have responded to such external requirements and challenges by increasing their internal complicatedness, which BCG defines as the number of procedures, vertical layers, interface structures, coordination bodies, decision approvals, and other add-ons.

Complicatedness results in many performance issues, such as high costs, slow decision-making, siloed thinking, a lack of innovation, and difficulty getting things done—all common concerns of CEOs today. While complexity is a fact of business life, complicatedness doesn’t have to be.

What Is Smart Simplicity?

Smart Simplicity helps organizations identify and resolve unnecessary complicatedness and deliver lasting, measurable change. How does a Smart Simplicity approach differ from traditional solutions? We take into consideration the drivers of behavior—the context that employees work within—and then shape this context to achieve the desired behaviors.

As Work Gets More Complex, Six Rules to Simplify

Today’s businesses are increasingly complex, and traditional management solutions are obsolete, says Yves Morieux, a BCG managing director and senior partner. In this TED talk, Morieux offers six rules for Smart Simplicity, an approach to help organizations successfully address complexity to gain competitive advantage.

A Closer Look at BCG’s Complicatedness Survey

BCG can conduct this survey at varying degrees of intensity so that it can kick off a comprehensive project, initiate a conversation about overall simplification, make existing discussions more tangible, or quantify a leader's perception of what’s going on.

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Meet the Experts on Our Smart Simplicity Consulting Team

Achieving Social Impact with Smart Simplicity

BCG has applied the Smart Simplicity approach in various types of businesses—including banks, utilities, insurance agencies, retail chains, and manufacturers—and delivered a wide range of sustainable performance improvements. The scope of Smart Simplicity has further extended to address complex global challenges, including hunger, climate change, and urban mobility.

Fighting Hunger


Combating Climate Change


Solutions for Urban Mobility

Our Impact in Smart Simplicity

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Hotel Chain Answers a Wake-Up Call for Better Performance

By gaining a better understanding of employee behavior, a large hotel chain finds the solution to poor profitability in Smart Simplicity.

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Employees at Industrial Company Cooperate and Conquer

By getting workers to understand that they depend on one another for success, a large industrial company tackled complexity and stopped a decline in product quality.

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People Power Grows Market Share

By giving more power to more people, a large retailer found a lasting solution to dwindling sales.

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Telecom Leader Dials Up a Winning Strategy

A manufacturer turned to Smart Simplicity to foster internal cooperation and speed up product innovation.

BCG’s Featured Insights in Smart Simplicity

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Simplify First—Then Digitize

Digital transformation is vital to companies’ survival, yet it is threatened by complicatedness. A four-step process helps organizations combat complicatedness—and set the stage for success.

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