These three questions can answer all your problems

I'm a big fan of simplicity, whether it's about strategy and innovation or personal productivity. In a complex world, there's no use making things more difficult than they need to be.

It's just so easy to complicate things - even I am guilty. But in reality, there are three questions I've used in consulting with executives that have much wider applicability to all sorts of problems people encounter in business and in life.

At the risk of severe hyperbole, I believe these three questions can help solve any problem. Don't take my word for it. Try it yourself. Think of any problem you are dealing with right now - a difficult colleague, changes to your business wrought by the digital revolution, or even, say, the struggle to get into better physical shape -and honestly ask yourself these three questions:

Are you really willing to change what you've been doing?

Nothing gets done until you say "YES" to this question. Otherwise, it's all just talk.

Think about it. Companies that struggle to adapt to changing business conditions are held back almost entirely by their own unwillingness to change. It's not that companies cannot change, it's that they're unwilling to do so. Taxi companies the world over have been unwilling to provide better service at a lower price to customers, and so Uber and others have emerged to take their business away.

How about your own life? That colleague who is congenitally uncooperative? He'll keep doing it until he has a reason not to. Are you prepared to take him on? If he works for you, are you prepared to reassign him, or fire him if necessary?

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