The complexity of simplicity!

Tuesday August 09, 2011,

2 min Read

From Raj’s LAB by Raj Shankar, founder of ichiban Academy and ichiban Consulting

Keep it Simple Silly! How often one hears of this statement? But then if it was simple why are many of us not doing it?

Through the generations it has been our effort to study our past, accumulated experiences to extract the essence and meaning. This quest can be seen in all spheres from science to spiritual. This takes years of perseverance and research. This takes years of perseverance and research. What we then get is an abstraction a derivative that attempts to provide some answers. This is what is held within the confines of theory.

A practitioner – faced with a situation, seeks a tailor-made solution; one that uniquely fits the situation. For him the abstraction is of little use. He feels it to be at a very high level – too complex. He gets in fact upset with theory. His tolerance to ambiguity is very less. He wants someone to provide solution for only what he wants. Now starts the journey of simplification. For this to be done properly it is going to require someone to understand both the abstraction and the situation to design the bridge. This calls for considerable study.

However very often when one comes with a solution that is to the point and extremely simple – instead of getting a WOW from the customer – he gets a ‘IS THAT ALL?’ look. The solution is then likened to one that is born out of common sense – completely forgetting that if this was so; the problem would not have been left unsolved for long.

This dichotomy between the hard work required to arrive at a simple solution, and the perception of the solution’s simplicity gives rise to a feeling of under-serviced at the client side and under-recognized at the advisor side. Many professionals then tend to lean onto cloaking simple solution in complex jargon, complicated templates and redundant practices.

One needs to understand simpler the solution – more complex is the thought process!

So let us not take in jest the statement ‘Keep it Simple Silly!’

About the author

Raj Shankar is a thinker, researcher, author and teacher of strategy and entrepreneurship. You can follow him @ichibanraj or read more at

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