Minimalism and simplicity are hot topics nowadays. This book takes these concepts into the business world:
Less is Beautiful
by Cyriel Kortleven
The number of tasks, questions, challenges and distractions in the daily working life can be overwhelming. Complexity has increased considerably for companies and professionals likewise. There was a time when people considered their multitasking skills and their ability to cope with a high workload as something like a status symbol. These days are gone. Business professionals as well as researchers start to realize that we need new ways of handling the rising flood of information, tasks and decisions.
This is where “Less is Beautiful” comes in. Cyriel Kortleven shows us in inspiring stories how we can achieve more with less in the business world. He encourages us to “start to stop, simplify and let go” in order to “gain more with less”.
The author acknowledges that it is not an easy task to implement this kind of simplicity into your personal or professional life. He writes:
“Real simplicity, daring to stop activities or letting go of control is very difficult to achieve and requires a lot of perseverance. You have to work very hard to detect and conquer complexity and fixed thinking patters.”
For this purpose, he has compiled 69 stories, tools and examples from a variety of industries. Some of them are well known; others are like hidden gems. Whatever your challenge is, chances are good that you will find a simple approach for improvement within this wide choice of ideas.
Of course, the author follows his own advice and brings his message across in a minimalistic, yet effective way:
- Every story is presented on one double page of the book. There is the story in itself, presented in about 300 words.
- Below that you’ll find a tweetable quote with a sentence or a question.
(For first time ever I regretted that I cannot simply tap on the page of a printed book in order to send out a tweet right away.)
- On the opposite page, there is a small drawing with lots of empty space. The intention is to give you room for your own notes, sketches and reflections.
(Don’t be afraid to “destroy” the beauty of the book with your drawings and notes. Books like this one are made to work with.)
This is how it looks:
The stories are organized in four chapters
- Why more is too much
- Start to stop
- Letting go
Nevertheless, there is no need to read the book in a particular order. Instead of reading one story after the other, I found it more beneficial (and enjoyable) to read just one or two at a time. This is a book to have within reach. Whenever you are in the mood for some inspiration, flip it open on a random page and read.
The book ends with a list of “Sources for inspiration” – books, people, websites & blogs. There is no doubt that each single one of them is a valuable resource for further exploration. However, their sheer number seems to break the principle of the book. There are five closely-printed pages!
Nevertheless, “Less is beautiful” is a truly beautiful, inspiring book. It is a must-read for everyone who wants to bring a bit of simplicity in his personal or professional life.
Get this book at amazon.com:
Less is Beautiful