Complexity is Your Enemy

Complexity Coach

By Craig Johns

Why do we fall down the trap of thinking and making things more complex than they should be?

KISS – Keep it simple stupid is a great acronym too seldom used. We often make everything very complex, leaving both ourselves and those we are talking to confused and unsure.

As Albert Einstein once said:

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”.

A common trap people fall into is thinking that it is the people were are talking too’s fault for why they don’t understand, rather than placing the emphasis back on ourselves, as the one (s) presenting the concept or information.

Being able to deliver a compelling message to our employees, investors or athletes comes down to your ability to make it understandable to the audience you are speaking or writing to. It is common for a CEO, manager or coach to send their employees or athletes off with a task and for them to return as a failure, in the their eyes. This is not because the employee or athlete wasn’t capable of doing it, but because they didn’t understand what was being asked or provided to them.

It is important that the CEO, manager or coach are able to analyze a situation and determine whether the message they are presenting is actually being understood.  If you can’t explain it in less than 20% of the words you used, then it is probably too complex and you don’t understand your subject matter well enough. The ability of an employee or athlete to understand what the CEO, manager or coach message is, can have a major affect on the trust and support they will provide.

Richard Branson summed complexity up with the following:

“Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to make something simpler.”

How do you check if your message is being understood and whether you understand your message well enough?

Are you looking for more insights and ideas? Then read the following inspiring and thought-provoking articles by Craig Johns:

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