Artist Hans Hofmann said, “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” I’ve always found that to be such a profound and brilliant statement that applies across a plethora of areas.
Certainly it applies to portfolio management, where a focus on key priorities will drive greater results.
It also applies to process, where 20% of the standards will usually bring about 80% of the improvements.
Without a doubt, it applies to communication, where saying many things communicates nothing.
And I suppose it applies to art as well, in all its forms.
Simplicity happened to be one of Napoleon Bonaparte’s “six winning principles” that I highlighted in Napoleon on Project Management. In fact, management guru Tom Peters (“In Search of Excellence”) picked up on it and often shares the below quote from Napoleon in his presentations, along with one or two others.
I think Napoleon and Hans Hofmann would’ve gotten along quite well.
Bottom Line: Simplicity and focus go hand in hand, and whether you’re implementing a process, configuring a system, or communicating a change, remember to K.I.S.S (“Keep it Simple Stupid”).