It Doesn’t Have to be Complicated

There is a bias for people to think that complicated things are superior to simple things. The erudite learned man who uses big words to explain complicated subjects must be smarter than the guy using everyday language.

But the authors here suggest that organizations might be hurting themselves by mistaking simple for stupid, or common for ineffective.

Just because something is rare and complex doesn’t mean it’s sophisticated and effective. That strategic proposal or product idea that’s just “common sense” or “so obvious that everyone would be doing it if it worked” might actually be the best idea.

Companies can get stuck in the “not doing” phase by fooling themselves into thinking they need a more complex, rare, or magical insight.

The authors repeatedly saw successful organizations marked by simple language, common sense mission statements and goals, and language characterized by actions rather than lofty abstractions.

Keep it simple. Act. Learn. Move forward.

A similar insight is that finding fault with an idea is a lot easier than building upon it. Be wary of the person who likes to talk a lot and break down ideas and find reasons why solutions will become failures. He or she may sound smart, but their ideas might not be.