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It is also powerful. So much so, that authors have written about it, poets have dedicated odes to it and great singers and songwriters have sung about it. And, I crave it!
That desire and a recent training session on a project management methodology and a book all pointed in the same direction for me this last week. In other words, I have to train myself and those that I can influence, to think and work towards what I wish to call DCS, or, Deliberately Created Simplicity.
What I propose we do is pretty straightforward in theory:
- Break every problem down into a collection of small, but easier, problems.
- Make the problem statements understandable for everyone, so anyone can play a role.
- Work on these small and, yes, simple things.
- Make goals very achievable, tangible and real.
- Appreciate and applaud the effort that everyone puts in.
- Failure might be minimal but still create a mechanism so it is not repeated.
- Most importantly, focus on the present.
DCS is going to allow me break seemingly complicated tasks into ones that I find a lot more doable.
For example, the desire to re-imagine our basement is going to give way to "let us replace the lock on the door of the basement today". There we go! I do not have to think of the entire basement. Replacing that lock, on the other hand, should not take more than 10 minutes. Oh yes, I can do that!
At work, for example, "work towards increasing the quality of overall communication" might give way to a much smaller project of "working towards having no spelling mistakes in our emails". Important, but smaller in size and scope, with a very clear definition of success.
The world is growing smaller in size and very complicated in definition. I am regularly impressed with people that work on fantastically complex problems. Just like them, I am a student of my art and love to work on real and hard issues. Something tells me, however, that time has come for me to rewire my brain. Not all complex issues need equally intricate solutions. E.F. Schumacher, in one of his most influential quotes, suggested "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".
Challenge accepted Mr. Schumacher!!
Is there a part of your life that you can simplify? If so, let me know!