Simplicity on the Other Side of Complexity

Our organization was overwhelmed with managing changes. We had just made a major product shift and small changes that before had no effect now rippled through the system costing many man hours to manage; many even slipped through the cracks.

A friend and I set out to try to understand how the organization was responding to changes so that we could find a way to fix it. We spent a lot of time thinking about why we handled changes so poorly. After many hours, we finally understood and were excited to present our findings to the Change Management Committee. Our discovery indicated that we might not have to create a strict, difficult-to-manage policy as was planned.

They responded: “Well, obviously.”, followed by, “How long did this take you to think this through”? Understanding solutions is far easier than discovering them. Finding Waldo is much more difficult when someone hasn’t already circled him with a sharpie. But this is the nature of good solutions — they are clear and simple to understand.

As my friend likes to say, he wants to find the simplicity on the other side of complexity. Very often there are simple answers to many problems that we face.  They are hard to find, but seem so obvious after they’re found. This can be very frustrating for the creator, but it’s a sign of a job well done.

Creating is hard work, but its worth the effort. Providing the clear easy solution on the other side of wrestling with a hard problem is worth it. So don’t feel discouraged if after hours of wrestling everyone looks at you as though you just pointed out that gravity exists.






One response to “Simplicity on the Other Side of Complexity”

  1. Bill Gascoyne Avatar
    Bill Gascoyne

    “When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.”
    Enrique Jardiel Poncela

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: