Keep It Simple Stupid

Simplification is a hard word to spell and it is even harder to deliver.

I focus a lot of my time on simplifying:

  • Working with my team to turn complex issues into manageable decisions
  • Working to deliver a strategy that is easy to comprehend and digest across the business, but equally one that the team can pay into and deliver against everyday
  • Turning 30 slides into 5, transforming text into pictures.

How about an app that could turn your slideware into an infograph – What a killer app that would be? (Padley Patent Pending)

For me Simplicity = comprehension = success.  Why is it then we are conditioned to reject and fear simplicity?

“Are you simple?” says the condescending teacher/parent, incredulous at the mistake made by the innocent child.

Simple maths are not as good as complex maths. Better to use longer words than be monosyllabic. If it is complex and only a few people get it, then it must be “clever” and therefore right.

Maybe the world is turning full circle on this as we are all struggling to find actionable insight in our personal and professional lives and siphon the 24/7 deluge.

Look at Dove Simple’s commercial success and the simplicity of Apple Design.

“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time” may or may not have been penned by Mark Twain but I love that quotation. Equally, a great story that personifies the impact of simplification is found in reference to the 13th Century artist Giotto. When asked to demonstrate his skill for the Pope, Giotto drew a perfect freehand circle. You can search YouTube with some very entertaining examples of this today.

In my career I have had the fortune to present and work with the most senior management of a company.  These ladies and gentlemen are time poor, meeting rich and simplicity of report and communication is key if you want to gain support and interest in your projects.

My slides take far longer to prepare for the C-suite as I desperately attempt to make sure that there is no room for interpretation and comprehension is instantaneously achieved on viewing the material.

As we all know the best ideas are the simple ones



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