Hooray For Those Simple Ideas

Ink on scrap paper – Words: Catherine Ryan Hyde

Sometimes the simplest ideas can make the biggest difference. Indeed! I have been on many project teams, committees, and even executive council teams where things got WAY TOO complicated. Someone tried to out do another someone and before you know it everyone has chosen sides and the problem that was there to be solved is shoved aside and forgotten. Egos, budgets, and who would get credit or the headcount have become the goal instead of solving a simple problem.

I have enjoyed many times in my career being the one who suggested ‘x’. Not “X!” Or “Y!”, just simple, plain, clear cut ‘x’. Many times the simple idea is rejected because it just seems too good to be true, too easy, too…simple. It is at those moments when it can be best to let things percolate until the egos in the room have time to deflate. And who knows, better yet, when the group meets again let someone else confirm, suggest or even revise ‘x’. Does it really matter who gets the credit if the problem gets resolved? Simple ideas live the test of time because they are simple to understand, simple to implement and simple to measure.

Simply said, if getting credit becomes more important than solving something, if your ego, your budget or anything else gets in the way of doing the right things, the best things, the simple things then it is time to walk away. Cool down and let that simple idea nag away until there is no way to let it go until it takes life. Once you reach that point nothing else matters. The simple idea has won and the world is a better place, well at least your world is better. And isn’t that what we all want anyway, a better world? Hooray for those simple ideas.

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