Success Secrets:

Working Smarter

The Power of Simplicity

Achieving More with Less What Is It and How It Works

Vadim Kotelnikov personal logo Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited!

"When the solution is simple, God is answering." ~ Albert Einstein

"The smarter the engineer the more likely he is to say that something cannot be done." ~ Henry Ford

"You can't believe how hard it is for people to be simple, how much they fear being simple... Clear tough-minded people are the most simple." ~ Jack Welch





"The Elevator Speech" on the Power of Simplicity1

  • Confusion is costing you a lot more than you think. It is work complexity, and it's an abuse of people's time.

  • Most people are extraordinary. They want to do the right things, to do their best, and make a difference.

  • If you want more people to make more of a difference, you'll have to find new ways for them to create their own clarity.

12 Effective Leadership Roles

B. Empower, Inspire, and Energize People

  1. Communicate openly and honestly; give clear guidelines; set clear expectations... More


The GE Leadership Effectiveness Survey (LES)

Simplicity Power: SIMPLIFY (25 Lessons from Jack Welch)

Google's 9 Notions of Innovation

The Three Rules of Work

By Albert Einstein

  1. Out of clutter find simplicity

  2. From discord find harmony

  3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

Eight Attributes of Corporate Success

By Peters and Waterman


Why Simplicity Works

Simplicity helps people work smarter. As Bill Jensen1 puts it, "Simplicity works because it is based on human nature and common sense,"

16 Ways to Avoid the Hassle of Commercializing University Technology

By: Terry Collison

If you have a technology policy and a procedure, make sure nobody in the university community actually understands what it is. Complexity is good... More

The Universal Problem

In today's era of over-communication, the avalanche of news about the rapid changes of modern life and management issues is turning people off. "The universal problem seems to be how hard people have to work just to figure out what to do. Task work has been streamlined, but knowledge work has become more cluttered and confusing. Making the right choices fast, while everything is changing is now the toughest part of getting our work done." writes Bill Jensen.1

The Growing Avoidance of Complexity

The psychologist Dr. Carol Moog states that in our culture, there's is a "paranoia of omission". There's a sense that you have to cover all your options because you could be attacked at any moment. You can't miss anything or it could be fatal to your carrer.2 This leads to maddening complexity. The best way to deal with these natural fears is to focus on the right problem. That's the power of simplicity.

Besides, people don't want to spent too much time on thinking. By simplifying a complex issue, you are making it easier for people make a decision faster, without too much thought.

Apply 80/20 Rule to Your Business

"Because business is wasteful, and because complexity and waste feed on each other, a simple business will always be better than a complex business". To succeed in managing change and transforming your business by applying the 80/20 Principle you need to demonstrate that simple is beautiful and why. Unless you understand this, you will never be willing to give up underperforming 80% of your current business and overheads. "The way to create something great is to create something simple... Progress requires simplicity; and simplicity requires ruthlessness," writes Richard Koch.6... More

Learning Power

In learning, we want things fast, but we don't have time to study. "The world is changing so rapidly that by the time we learn something, it has often changed in some way, shape or form... We want satisfaction, proof that even though life is moving quickly, we are gaining on it and we are making a difference."5 Simple ideas from people who have done simple things and achieved great results make this high-speed race more manageable. They enable you to get started in small, immediate ways that make a difference, confident that you will make progress if you take the initiative to act.

 Case in Point  General Electric (GE)

Jack Welch summed up his prescription for winning in three words:

Simplicity is one of the keys to business. It is an art form, with many definitions: "To an engineer, it's clean, functional design with fewer parts. For manufacturing it means judging a process not by how sophisticated it is, but how understandable it is to those who must make it work. In marketing it means clear messages and clean proposals to consumers and industrial customers. And, most importantly, on an individual, interpersonal level it takes the form of plain-speaking, directness honesty."... More

25 Lessons from Jack Welch (Ten3 Mini-course)

 Case in Point  Colin Powell's 18 Leadership Principles

Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand. The result? Clarity of purpose, credibility of leadership, and integrity of organization... More

 Case in Point  Google

On the Web, simplicity is a necessary condition for survival. If your website is difficult to use, people leave. Keep your website simple and visitors will use it.

Rapid growth of Google due to popularity of its ultra-simple interface is a prime example.


Innovation is actually a very simple phenomenon.

Innovation is about Love: do what you love to do and love your customers ... More

 Case in Point  Konosuke Matsushita

Henry Ford once remarked that the smarter the engineer the more likely he was to say that something couldn't be done. Konosuke Matsushita, Founder of Panasonic, had a similar idea about the connection between knowledge and innovation: "We speak of the shortcomings of the purely intellectual approach, but this refers to our wariness of half-baked theories that can prevent us from proceeding to a practical solution. If necessity is the mother of invention, then simple, unaffected determination is its father. Even when everyone around you say it's impossible, if you step back and rethink your task in the simplest possible terms, free of the noise of over-erudite and preconceived notions, often the solutions will come to you, out of the blue, so to speak." For this reason, Matsushita's own lack of formal education was a blessing in disguise, allowing him to see to the heart of problems free of the constraints of academic or unsubstantiated ideas.8





  1. Simplicity The New Competitive Advantage in a World of More, Better, Faster, Bill Jensen

  2. "The Power of Simplicity", Jack Trout with Steve Rivkin

  3. "Jack Welch, speech, The Bay Area Council, San Francisco, California, September 6

  4. "Direct from Dell", Michael Dell with Catherine Fredman

  5. Foreword to "1001 Ways to Energize Employees", Jack Stack

  6. "The 80/20 Principle", Richard Koch

  7. Roads to Success, Heller Robert

  8. Matsushita Perspective on Business, Panasonic HA Air-Conditioning (M) Sdn Bhd.