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The Value Of Simplicity

The Value Of Simplicity

In an increasingly complex world 'simplicity' is becoming very important. Why?

  • Dealing with complexity is an inefficient and unnecessary waste of time, attention and mental energy

  • Simplicity makes life simpler

  • Simplicity makes it much easier to do things

There is often a much simpler way of doing things - if you make the effort to look for it. Simplicity does not just happen.

Challenges to simplicity

Simplicity is easy to use but can be hard to design. You may need some creativity.

Because simplicity seems easy we believe it is easy to achieve. When it is not easy to achieve we give up too quickly.

We are usually too ready to accept the first solution as good enough. We need to believe that there is often a better or simpler solution in order to keep on thinking.

In order to make something simple you have to know your subject very well indeed.

The ability to extract, define and redesign concepts is the key to the process of simplification.

Sometimes it is much easier to start over again than to try to modify what exists.

Final Point

Under any approach to simplification there are three key questions:

  • Why?
  • How?
  • What is the value?

These are just some observations from Edward De Bono's excellent book: "Simplicity"

Page 279 contains the section "The Ten Rules of Simplicity"

Obtain your own copy here:


How To Eliminate Business Worries

Leo Shimkin, general manager of a major publishing house said:

"It sounds like magic - but like all magic tricks, it is extremely simple when you see how it is done.

"Here is the secret:

First, I immediately stopped the procedure I had been using in my conferences for fifteen years - a procedure that began with my troubled associates reciting all the details of what had gone wrong, and ending up by asking: "What shall we do?"

Second, I made a new rule - a rule that everyone who wishes to present a problem to me must first prepare and submit a memorandum answering these four questions:

Question 1: What is the problem?

Don't work yourself up into a lather discussing the troubles, simply write out specificially what the problem is.

Question 2: What is the cause of the problem?

Hours can be wasted in worried discussions without ever trying to find out clearly the conditions that lie at the root of the problem.

Question 3: What are all possible solutions of the problem?

Instead of deliberating, simply write down all possible solutions to get a clear overview.

Question 4: What solution do you suggest?

Instead of going round in circles think through all the possible solutions and then write down the one you recommend."

How can you apply Leo Shimkin's strategy in your life and business?

Read more in Dale Carnegie's classic: "How To Stop Worrying and Start Living". Chapter 5 "How To Eliminate Fifty Per Cent Of Your Business Worries"

Obtain your copy here:




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