The Power Of Elegance

Coco Chanel stated that simplicity is the key to any kind of true elegance.

But according to my experience, simplicity is often not very elegant at all.

If we over-simplify our world, it becomes mono-dimensional, monochrome, meaningless and boring.

If we simplify our world-view to an extent where the good cowboys wear white hats, and the bad cowboys black hats, we miss the multi-color richness of experience the real world has to offer.

Instead of trying to manage the complexities we face through black-and-white reductionism, we need to learn to manage our complex reality by gaining an intimate, profound understanding of it. 

According to my experience, truly elegant solutions actually require the presence and richness of a complex context.

If we step back for a moment and take a closer look at the seemingly random, chaotic world we live in, we will find that it consists of layer upon layer of beautifully intricate, symmetrical, fractal patterns.

Fractals are both highly complex and simply elegant.

Upon taking an even closer look below the surface of chaos and complexity, you will find amazingly rhythmic, self-organizing patterns and a deeply satisfying sense of balance, order and purpose that far exceeds the effectiveness and efficiency of the organizational strategies, structures and models most management consultants could ever dream up.  

It is true that elegance doesn’t come easy, as it requires you to delve deeper and engage more fully with your reality, instead of jumping to conclusions. But once you have achieved a state of total immersion in your chosen topic, you may find that elegant solutions suddenly emerge in the most unexpected moments, like a flash of lightning, when inspiration strikes.

The resulting solutions may seem simple at first sight – but don’t be deceived!

This type of simplicity is rich, complex and deeply satisfying.

It provides a profound sense of significance.

It addresses the real root causes of a situation, and it usually has a broad-ranging effect.

In the fields of information technology, mathematics 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! 

Although these solutions may seem simple, their quality has nothing to do with reductionism, austerity, and blinkered ways of thinking.

True elegance combines simplicity with complexity to create beauty!

This type of elegance articulates, mediates and enables complexity, providing precise orientation within a seemingly chaotic context, enabling you to navigate your way toward optimal solutions quickly and effectively. In the business world, it provides a powerful competitive advantage in the process of disruptive innovation and organizational design, by striking 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.»

To me personally, the real beauty of this approach is that true elegance requires no explanation. It speaks for itself.

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