It's also ironic that business leaders often insist on making things sound complicated because they're convinced it makes them sound smarter.
If you work for one of these executives or you happen to be an executive of that persuasion, please purchase a copy of Alan Webber's Rules of Thumb and flip to Rule#34: Simplicity is the new currency.
Webber has compiled a list of 52 rules culled from his days as co-founder of Fast Company and other points in his life. The book is a great read, but for the sake of simplicity, we'll stay focused on his 34th rule about simplicity.
It's hardly a new idea but Webber's timing is of the moment since the ability to keep it simple is more in demand than ever. Simplicity is the antidote to a world overflowing with complexity. There's power in mastering the art of making things simple. Customers want solutions that make their lives easier. And who doesn't want complex ideas demystified and stripped down into 15-second chunks of information? Better yet, can you say it in 140 characters?
So where do you start? How can you perfect the art of simplifying without sounding too simple? How about a few easy steps to explore the potential rewards of being able to say more with less?
- Slim down your email so it fits in the subject header (this makes an interesting team exercise, btw)
- Cut to the chase with voicemail messages no longer than 30 seconds
- Practice 45-second responses during a weekly staff meeting (also a great benchmark for any executive answering a question)
- Don't add that one extra word to your messaging document or next press release