How simple is simple? In one context, simple can mean stripped down – the bare essentials – a minimalist approach. In another, simple can mean as straightforward – uncomplicated – trouble free. In yet another, simple is seen as down-to-earth – clean – unpretentious. And finally simple has been used as euphemism for stupid. Let’s take the latter meaning for a moment. In the sense of the phrase “keep it simple… stupid,” stupid seems to be the antonym of simple. In this context, simple is a virtue. It’s the way a smart person would think. Clearly, keeping things simple is an asset. Or is it?

So what is it? Do we shortchange our clients and friends by taking a simple approach? Would they get better value from us if we made it look harder? Or what about when we make it more complicated (and it really isn’t), would we get better margin if we were the brain surgeons we are always claiming aren’t necessary?.

Somehow it seems it’s not always so simple to be simple. Simplicity takes thought and planning. It requires process and commitment. Remember the famous story of the letter that was too long because the author didn’t have the time to make it short?

The bottom line is everywhere I look simplicity is becoming more and more important to our client engagements. It’s demanded in execution, in thinking, in creative, in finance and in management.

Our clients are looking to make their transactions with their customers simpler, i.e., easy, uncomplicated and trouble free. They want their relationships to be simple, i.e., effortless, down to earth and clear cut.

We would like the same and always work hard when negotiating to get the most simple, straight-forward options.

So how is this for a thought?

When a thought is too weak to be expressed simply, it should be rejected.
Marquis de Vauvenargues

Lets create new filters that self-select; that keep us straightforward and down-to-earth that reject out of hand needless complications and difficulties.


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