Thursday, December 03, 2009


I am reading 'Simplicity' by Edward De Bono these days.

Prologue of the book states Dr. Bono as the originator of the lateral thinking concept who also developed formal techniques for delibrate creative thinking. I found it interesting to share some of the key notes of his version of simplicity.

1. There is often a much simpler way of doing things - if you make the effort to look for it. Simplicity does not just hapen.

2. Once a game is laid out in a clear manner, people become very good at playing that game. The game of simplicity needs to be as clearly defined as was the game of quality.

3. The human brain tries its hardest to simplify life by setting up routine patterns of perception and of action. Once you identify the pattern you flow along it without further effort.

4. There is always the possibility that there is a simpler way to do something. Even if that is not always the case it is always worth investing some thinking time and creative effort in trying to find a simpler approach.

5. An expert is someone who has succeeded in making decisions and judgements simpler through knowing what to pay attention to and what to ignore.

6. It may be better to simplify a process rather than train people to cope with the complexity.

7. People find thinking to be difficult becausse civilization has never made any attempt to make thinking simpler.

8. Outside technical areas, perception is far more important than logic. But we have persisted in focusing on logic.

9. Breaking things down into smaller units, decentralization and modular design are all approaches to simplicity - so long as the unity of the overall purpose is not lost.

10. Centrelink is a bold attempt by the Australian government to simplify life for the users of the various welfare agencies. It may also simplify administration.

11. Cartoonists constantly face the challenge of simplicity. How can a complex concept be expressed simply?

12. Today computers allow us to do simple things in a much simpler way than ever before.

13. We are usually too ready to accept the first solution as good enough. We need to believe that there is often a better or simpler solution in order to keep on thinking.

14. It is quite impossible to distinguish between true simplicity and simplistic unless you yourself know the subject very well. Otherwise your judgement may demonstrate your ignorance.

15. Why shouldn't language be living and changing all the time?

The key points stated above summarize only first 3 chapters of the book!
Let me ponder over the remaining ones and come back on my blog with its sequels.

Happy December; probably the last chance to make 2009 better and simpler !


indra said...

Mostly I disagree with 1st point.
I think Simplicity just happens, we don't need to go for it.
Simplicity is not a definition, it's be what you are, tell what you believe in, act what you enjoy most. I think we need not to go for it.
Just a thought. Probably I am not grasping it really well.
Pls keep us updated!

Sunil said...

Good Post. It was a timely reminder to simplify our lives - much needed!

Pilot-Pooja said...

Thanks a lot for reading this post and sharing your views; no wonder no 2 living entities think 100% alike

Mukul said...

Thanks for this post...Totally agree with point# 5..waiting for gist of rest of the book