An elegant solution

My background is manufacturing operations. Often we would encounter seemingly irresolvable problems, often with a myriad of choices and no clear path as to which to choose or choose first.

The standard approach to these matters include tools like Root Cause Analysis, Waterfall Charts and HACCP. Mostly these serve pretty well and in significant issues some sort of framework is useful.

At times however there is no time and you need a broader framework. Something that sits well above the detail.

In any organisation I believe this is where clear vision and value statements are critical – you can quickly eliminate the things not to do by understanding and connecting to your vision and your values.

Does the solution/ action serve the values and vision? No, then let’s find something else.

Somewhere in this mix I always have another friend. I seek the ‘elegant solution’.

My first encounter of an elegant solution was Edward De Bono who indicated the way to stop polluting of rivers was to ensure that the polluters drew their water downstream from their outlet.

I am always suspicious when an answer is overly complex, when important questions have not been answered and particularly when a proposed action is likely to unreasonably ‘cost’ one or more parties either in impact or effort.

I have seen a lot of effort going into designing solutions where the method fails at the very first or a very early stage, and everything else is immediately redundant. That is not elegant.

Elegant is maximum impact for minimum effort.

Elegant is having the buy in of all parties

Elegant is understanding limitations

Elegant is easing your way through a maze with due thought and consideration

Elegant is knowing you don’t have the answer

Elegant is letting things shape themselves

Elegant is guiding

Elegant  is something you sit back and admire for the beauty in its simplicity.

You feel Elegant, though only if you are open to it.

Get Elegant today.

2 Replies to “An elegant solution”

  1. Dear Richard,

    I agree that solution of the most complex problem is simple one. I think if we apply our concious and intuition to problems, we can sense the solutions. Where there is a gap, there lies a solution. So, by sytemic thinking we can easily find out the cause of the problem and get the solution. Most of the problems are created one and we also know the solutions but we seek somewhere else. The fact is that when we are open and ready to change our perception, most of the problems get solutions.

    1. Dear Ajay
      thanks for this excellent addition. Perhaps you should have written the post – you make the point well – and very elegantly!

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