The Secret Of Elegant Business

In the fields of business strategy, information technology, mathematics, science and engineering, elegant solutions provide a surprisingly simple method, which is normally not obvious at first sight, to produce a highly effective result, often solving multiple problems at once - even problems, which may not be inter-related!

Truly elegant business solutions solve multiple, often unrelated problems

The Swiss army knife may provide us with a practical, tangible illustration of such elegance. The simple, straightforward surface design of this tool is actually misleading, for although it is called a knife, it actually provides multi-purpose functionality.

The basic version normally includes:

a couple of knives

a pair of scissors

a cork-screw

a can-opener

a screwdriver

And so on…

Nowadays, many of these Swiss army knives include cool gadgets like an altimeter, a USB-stick, etc.

But as this example clearly illustrates, trying to create too much "added value" may have a detrimental effect. Some designers have included so many different gadgets and functionalities in to their version of the Swiss army knife, that the result is a heavy, cumbersome, impractical tool, lacking the essential elegance of the original design.

Too much of a good thing is the enemy of elegance!
In the process of innovation, true elegance must strike a fine balance between complexity and simplicity to create optimal value. 

To quote the January 2007 edition of Architecture & Design

«Elegance allows for complexity to coincide with a relative reduction of complication by integrating multiple elements into a coherent, comprehensive, continuous and complete system, which can easily be understood. »

As in the example of the Swiss army knife, elegance requires a relative reduction of complexity. 

The key to creating optimal value when creating new tools, methods, models, concepts and solutions, is to strike an ideal balance between simplicity of design and the usefulness of multi-functional complexity. 

If you need to read a user’s manual before you can utilize a tool, product, solution or process, it is probably not truly elegant.

According to my research and experience, true elegance requires no formal explanation.

It speaks for itself.

And this is true for any truly successful business strategy, too!

Find out more about how you can benefit from the secrets of true elegance: