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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

Reduce Complexity By Making It Simple

Knowledge has never been easier to access. We all have many ways and opportunities to increase our I.Q. While we do that, we realize there are different levels of understanding. We start out by learning things from scratch and that is when they, at least seem to be, the most complex. When we know nothing or when we assume we know something but we are unconsciously incompetent. As soon as we go up the spectrum of knowledge, things which at one time seemed difficult, now seem more simple. Many times, the thing we are studying hasn’t changed, but we have changed a ton! Our mind, our understanding and our I.Q. on this area has grown to a new and deeper level.

The problem sometimes enters in when we have been studying something for an extended period of time and then we need to train or explain something to someone else. Albert Einstein once said that if you can’t explain something to your 80-year old grandmother in a way she can understand it, then you probably have work to do to reduce the complexity to be able to explain it simply. We don’t always have to teach someone everything we know or have learned. We only need to teach them the areas we can make simple which are the core elements of each subject. This requires us to focus on the true essence of things.

Making things simple means we take away all the unnecessary elements which clog up our minds and slow things down due to complexity. Make the ideas so simple the other person avoids confusion. Quite frankly, this is the essence behind my Big Idea Memo which I publish each Monday. In areas in which you can write pages upon pages or perhaps even whole books on an idea or subject, my mission each week is to get it down to under 500 words so that I can explain the idea in it’s essence form so readers can put the idea in practice more rapidly. When you deliver ideas in complex form, while sometimes necessary, it puts roadblocks in the path due to low levels of understanding. We all start at the bottom of the learning curve.

The challenge for you, as a leader is, make your message so simple that when others receive it, they understand and can grasp it fully right away.

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