I think this statement perfectly sums up much of what I have been hearing in the Network recently. While the last year has been a time of tremendous creativity, not all of the ideas that we come up with are good ones, and I would suggest even good ideas can be too complicated to pass the “seven-year-old” test. Which ones are worth pursuing and which ones should we pass on? I am too often guilty of chasing good, but complicated, ideas, without completely understanding what it will take to implement them. I plan to use this test a little more often in the future.
All around me, I am seeing a desire for simplicity and minimalism. How many magazine articles have you seen in the last six months on decluttering, paring down, and eliminating those things that distract us? One of my colleagues has shared with me that he is moving as many parts of his life to “analog” as he possibly can. I love that. I confess that I still use a paper planner because I love the scratchy feel of a pen on paper, how real and tangible it feels to me, that it won’t disappear somewhere into the ether. Perhaps that is what we are looking for in our search for simplicity, that feeling that something is real, that the things we hang onto are the important things.
And that reminds me of another wise question I heard in the Network recently, “What will you love and what will you deny?” It is the question we are encouraged to ask ourselves when we are purging our closets – love it, use it, or lose it. What if we applied that question to something more than our closets? What is it about your business that you love and what will you deny? What is it about our lives that we love and what parts of it are imposed on us by others? This entire last year has been an inflection point for all of us. What parts of our organizations will we love, what parts will we use, and what parts are we prepared to lose in order to preserve the best of what we do?