“I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
This week’s posts are on simplicity, something which doesn’t come easily to me, unfortunately. It’s a challenge to readily bridge the gap between thinking with complexity and expressing ideas simply. While doing that is easy for some, I’ve personally met very few individuals where that’s the case. So like many, I work very hard to make things simple and have adopted some approaches to help, including:
- Focusing on what matters from my personal core purpose and minimizing everything else.
- Forcing myself to pick between options in a situation and not trying to pursue them all.
- Not saying everything about a topic and focusing on what’s most relevant for the audience.
- Going through a “finished” post or presentation to eliminate 10-20% of the words or slides.
- Applying the rule of three and limiting lists to three major themes or categories whenever possible.
These are a start, and the remaining posts this week explore other aspects of simplicity: the result of all but eliminating a key resource, checking your strategy for clarity, and delegating your complex issues to get help from the most famous simple man of our generation. The week finishes with a few more quotes on the topic. And by Friday, ideally, we’ll all be able to meet on the other side of complexity, with a greater command of simplicity.