Monday, April 11, 2016

Three Questions to Assess a Person’s “Simplicity” Skill

Innovation is progress, and progress is in simplicity.

People are complex by nature, but to dwell on complexity is to complicate an implicate order that is naturally simple. Getting to simple is not easy for most people because they rather follow the traditions and set rules and regulations in the society. They don't bother to remove the dust around them, or want to question the unknown, or challenge the status quo, out of fear. However, progress is in simplicity.  The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary hassles so that the necessary can speak out. From talent management perspective, how to assess a person’s “simplicity” skill -Are you always following the “KISS” principle, or do you get used to making things complicated?

Do you have a simple mind, simple thought, and be passionate about simplicity? Though we know every intelligence has certain complexity in it, complexity is not equal to the complication, complexity is sometimes necessary, but complication can always be optimized. Often human cannot live the life with simplicity and keep making it complicated, and when it is complicated, they make it more complicated instead of simplifying. The Very rare case we find people with a simple mind, simple thought and who gets on to simplifying everything, being passionate for simplicity, be it thought, procedures, systems, life, nature. Simplicity is a behavioral attitude to see things as and what and where they are and be content and cool as it is. Logically, simplifying the complicated thing is an optimal and smart choice, for most of the people, it is the other way round. They make simplicity as the source to make anything and everything complicated. It is not that they are not intelligent, it is just that they can't live with simplicity. Things should be as simple as possible, but no simpler  -Einstein

Can you often explain things in a simple way, and how to leverage simplicity in innovation management? If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough  -Einstein. Innovation is often to figure out the better way to do things. And simplicity is the ultimate level of sophistication. Innovation is the process to transform novel ideas into products/service and achieve its business value. Although more often, innovations come from bottom up, innovation management is derived from a vision, coming from top management and shared by top management with all its employees in order to profit from it. Besides vision, communication is the key to streamlining innovation process and bridging idea creation and implementation. The innovation process needs to be part of the DNA of a company, as it may well reflect its business culture-bureaucratic or innovative; is your innovation management too complex with heavy centralized process attempted to 'manage' simple employee ideas. Such ideas should be reviewed, selected and developed locally using a simply empowered process. Innovation processes fall into one of two camps; one is so detailed and specific such that compliance with the process is impractical, or it is so high level and abstracted from the issues at hand that they do not provide useful guidance or lack of formal process. Something more balanced and interpreted is called for, but then it wouldn't be a "process," at least as currently defined. Innovation process needs to be agile, flexible, as simple as possible, but not simpler.  

Are you an intelligent fool or make progress via simplicity? Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction  -Einstein: complication proceeds simplicity, not the other way around. When pioneering and solving problems, initial solutions are often more complex than required, and then adoption and progress come with simplification. Progress is in simplification, which often follows complexity. Philosophically, simplicity further implies elegance, intuitiveness, and maturity. And methodologically, externally simplicity is directly proportional to internally complexity.

The simplicity and the complexity are just opposite ends of the same spectrum. Simplicity and Complexity is an age-old dilemma even in English Grammar! That compounds all "problems." You need complexity to understand and appreciate the simplicity and vice versa. It's all about balance and perception. In the core of simplicity lies complexity, more simple one perceives in any system, problem or living being is inherently more complex. But keep the process simple, not simpler; as innovation is progress, and progress is in simplicity.


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