Simplicity In A Complex World

I walked out of a capital markets presentation in London today about the convergence of the insurance and capital markets sector. The speakers spoke passionately about the quality of “new” alternatives (capital efficiency) and the speed of accomplishing a potential client’s desired business outcomes.

Yet, I couldn’t help thinking that there is a more powerful converging force happening today that most ignored, making the complex simple. This force is not unique to finance or insurance, it is happening in all aspects of our lives. Technology and human behaviour are the great “enablers” if used intelligently.

Three of the four speakers used detailed PowerPoint presentations to deliver their thoughts and provide hard evidence for their views. One speaker used no slides, he chose to escape the lectern and share informally his opinions, occasionally reverting to handwritten notes when he lost his train of thought or needed a prompt. All of them used wireless microphones, carefully placed television screens and discreet lighting to enhance the audience experience.

One speaker, you have guessed it, was exponentially more effective at conveying his wisdom and interacting with the audience. He was able to distill complex ideas and insights into simple, digestible soundbites and mental pictures. I doubt he was any more expert or knowledgeable about the subject but he was much smarter with the delivery.

This is an important lesson not just for speakers.

Ask yourself,

  1. “Where can I/we make the complex simple?” (Marketing, sales, delivery, business management, personal productivity and so on).
  2. “How do I/we best achieve that?” (adjusting human behaviour and leveraging technology).
  3. “What is the risk and reward attached to each alternative?”

You might just surprise yourself at how much complexity and time loss has inadvertently crept into your business and life while the bouncers weren’t looking. You need to challenge it immediately and eject the transgressors. You also need to proactively put in place processes to protect yourself. If you are unsure what or how to do that, get expert help.

© James Berkeley 2015. All Rights Reserved.





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