I have had the honor and privilege to work with brilliant people throughout my business career. People who can take extraordinarily complex situations, analyze them and ultimately come up with wonderful solutions. In short, they made the complex seem simple. Here’s some tidbits I learned over the years that you might be able to use along your path to success.
- Break it down into small pieces – When facing an enormous project, I once expressed to one of my mentors that the scope of the project appeared overwhelming. My mentor asked me if I knew how an aircraft carrier was built. I looked at him with a curious look on my face and told him that I did not. He said, “One bolt at a time.” Simple but true. An aircraft carrier is one of the largest and most complex structures ever built but you do not waive a magic wand to build it. It is built one bolt at a time. When your project seems too big to comprehend, break it down to the nuts and bolts and then carefully reconstruct it.
- Start with what you know – Have you ever put a puzzle together? At first, it looks impossible to find the right pieces that match each other. I usually start with what I believe are the outside pieces because they are the easiest to find. You can recognize them by their straight edges. Once you find all the straight edge pieces, you have a frame and can build from there.
- Enlist help – When faced with complex problems, ask for help. Remember that aircraft carrier will never be built by one person. Find people with the skills and desire to assist you. Develop a team approach. Delegate parts to the folks who have great insight. Call in the experts! You might be surprised how quickly that huge project can be accomplished when you get some help.
- Don’t forget the goal – There have been times when brilliant people have been enlisted to help break down a large problem but they get stuck in analysis. You can get so fixated to a certain piece of the problem that you lose sight of the ultimate objective. Eventually, all those nuts and bolts have to be brought together to compete the project. Don’t forget what your ultimate objective is…. complete the project/solve the problem.
If you and/or your team are facing a complex problem or a project, I hope you can refer back to these points. They have always helped me. May they serve as a reminder to you that no problem or project is too big or complex to tackle. Inch by inch, it’s a cinch! 🙂
Until next time…… Peace!