So I have the picture above on my blog. It is a Picasso.
As an artist he had a series of line drawings of animals…see them here.
I like this one for a few reasons.
First I have turned into one of those guys that rescues Dachshund from the pound. They are great.
About the only downside is that every once in a while you will be taking them for a walk and someone will drive by and yell “wiener” really loud.
Not great for my wife as she walks the kids to school, although the kids think it is hilarious.
The main reason I love the drawing is for its simplicity. It conveys all of its essence in a single line drawing.
There is an idea I have heard that if you can’t explain something simply you don’t understand it well enough.
The better the idea the more simple the explanation.
Art has known this for years…this picture speaks to me.
Can you explain your business simply to a prospect?
Can you explain your department’s role and mission to your team? Is it a unifying call to the team, something they hear, internalize and then act upon?
This is the gift of simplicity.
In the simplicity comes the power.
Science knows and backs this up. They even have name for it. Ockham’s Razor or the Rule of Parsimony.
"Don’t do with more, what can be done with less". (Read more here)
The idea is that if there are competing ideas that may work, then it is generally best to pick the simplest. The least assumptions needed the better.
The plan or idea with the fewest moving parts is preferable.
Easiest to communicate.
Easiest to feel, and ultimately act upon.
Communication is easy, in fact it is impossible not to communicate.
However,effective communication is actually quiet hard.
There is a story that when Cicero spoke people said “How well he spoke” When
Demosthenes spoke, people said “Lets march”.
If action is the key then we need to grasp the concept of simplicity.
So, as you set out to communicate with your team, customer, or loved ones remember to strip away the complexity and keep it simple.
Think like Picasso, strip away all the excess till what you have left is the great idea.
Cut away the unnecessary and leave only the essential.
The pure distilled idea.
It’s the lesson great art can teach us...
P.S. rescue a wiener-dog here
these are just the thoughts of someone who used to know more but now knows less...
I would love to hear from you on your thoughts and feedback...