Less is More


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All children are artists

They can pick up a pen or a crayon and create.  Before you know it they have drawn something beautiful, a flower or a house or a friend.  Simple, clear and elegant.

Unfortunately they just don’t know when to stop. The colouring in starts, red felt tips, green pencils, blue crayons, and then they create a…

If you have children you know exactly what I mean.

Do you know when to stop?

I love steak and chips, but it is easy to mess it up, overcooking it and covering it in a clarty sauce.

My eldest daughter has just discovered make up, she is a pretty girl but the results are not subtle.

Stopping is a fine art.

More isn’t more

So why do we:

Improvement is all about taking things out

We don’t make things better by adding more blue crayon, or more controls and checks.  We make things better by taking out all the clutter and confusion, making things visible, being clear what good looks like and then removing everything else.

Clarity is about what we take out, not add in.

Look at the arrow below and you will see what I mean…

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Image by erikleenaars

Republished with author's permission from original post.

James Lawther
James Lawther is a middle-aged middle manager. To reach this highly elevated position he has worked for many organisations, from supermarkets to tax collectors and has had multiple roles from running a night shift to doing operational research. He gets upset by operations that don't work and mildly apoplectic about poor customer service.


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