Ross A. Hill: Simplicity Is a Lost Art

My blog has moved! Redirecting...

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit and update your bookmarks.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Simplicity Is a Lost Art

Simplicity is a lost art.  I read a lot.  Things like blogs, articles, books, management reports, bank regulations, etc.  I listen to the news, listen to speeches, to Congressional testimony, listen to other CEO's and managers explain different items and many times I find my eyes glazing over.  People just make things so complicated.  Even ministers seem to make things difficult to understand.

WHY?  What is the purpose?  Are they trying to show how smart they are? I don't get it and I don't need it.  Do you get it?  Do you need it?  I am totally convinced that in most situations we have lost the art of boiling things down and making it simple to understand.   

I use to work for a great guy in Cincinnati, Ohio.  He would always make me write my "great ideas" out and he would make me write an explanation about a problem or an issue I was having.  If my writing was more than one page he refused to read it and refused to let me move on my plan.  He insisted that I boil it down to simple equations.  If I couldn't do it he was not going to waist his time reading about the issue or idea.  Did it frustrate me? Sure.  Did it teach me how to communicate, boil things down and get focused on the real issue(s)?  Absolutely!

If you want people to understand something, to follow you, to work with you to accomplish something you need to make it simple.  Boil it down for people and help them see what has to be accomplished to be successful. Help them see it can be done.

Just the other day one of my buddies and I were working out a problem. The tasks seemed overwhelming and we had no idea how we could accomplish it with our limited resources.  I took my usual tact, got out my calculator and figure out that we only needed 12 leaders to lead 4 trips a year to accomplish our goals.  Our attitudes instantly changed from wondering "how in the world we could do it" to "KNOWING we could accomplish our task".  It took less than a couple of minutes to totally change our view. This is not a one time example.  It literally happens all of the time when I use this tactic.

Simplicity doesn't have to be a lost art...try it!  

1 comment:

  1. A very good article. Whether running a church or a business it has taken me a long time to get it simple. Thank you for an important reminder!