Posts tagged ‘simple’

How To Overcome Fear For Simplification: Make It Simple, Not Easy

simplistic_vs_simplicity“It is not the fear for complexity, but the fear for simplification that sustains a perpetual, omnipresent fire-fighting culture.” I don’t think this quote was ever recorded before by anyone else so I’ll just claim it here now until proven wrong.

I believe the drivers to let us act simplistic are very much in line with the enumeration of the ‘simplistic’ column in the picture in the left. Some of us are plain ignorant which makes us seek for the most simple solution that fits into our head, not into that of the customer or stakeholder we work for. Some of us would want to make things simpler, but get distracted because of fire-fighting and have to extinguish that first. Because that is more important. So they lose their attention and make it thus easy upon themselves, and difficult upon their customer. Then we have people who are just lazy and know very well things can be made simpler, but why hurry? They don’t really see the need for themselves and make it easy upon themselves this way. And then there are those that are deceived, by some form of authority they believe they have to follow blindfolded. So they make it easy upon themselves and upon their authority. But not on their customers.

So what should we then do to make it really simple? Well, first of all, it’s not easy. But it’s a real challenge, which can create win-win for all, provided we’re open enough to try it. We should become aware. We should gain knowledge. We should build up a spirit of wanting to serve and help others. We should foster honesty and sincerity instead of authority. And by combining all of these drivers, we make it simple for them, and will get many rewards. Good luck in finding your own path from simplistic thinking and acting to simplicity thinking and acting. tedx17-simple


Three Ways You Can Manage Relationships

We are all living inside boxes we have designed ourselves. They exist purely because it’s the way we can hide (abstract) complexity we cannot or do not want to oversee. Or to hide our fear of not being able to cope with the complexity. But how do boxes help us in managing relationships? Look at the top left figure. We placed a box around a number of people we think have to work or be together for some reason. And then we call this box a department (or a company, or enterprise or whatever scale you want to give it). And this box is then supposed to manage relationships with it’s direct environment, but that is not that easy, since we locked ourselves inside the box. We also tend to do this with technology: integrating parts until they fit inside some box. We then call this box a PC or server or application or active component or suite or ecosystem or whatever. And we managed to hide all the complexity inside these boxes, we abstracted it all out. So we don’t have to worry about handling relationships from this box to it’s environment, that is something others must do. So we don’t have to take responsibility for the relationship management: we choose the easy way out. But there are also other ways! We could try to find openings in the box. Maybe taking away one of the pillars would already help enourmously while still providing enough structure. We could also try to take away the glass ceiling and provide facilities to get out of the box via the ceiling (look at the center figure). And then there is even a more extreme way: we could take away the complete box and try to manage our relationships without any predefined structure or control. Look at the figure to the right where the bird sitting in the hand seems to have a good or at least trustful relationship with the hand, and yet seems to have total freedom to fly away whenever it wants. It represents my way of looking at an “ideal” degree of freedom in ICT architectures. Maybe one day, it will become your way too? 

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