Reducing Your Thinking

Reducing Your Thinking

Lisa O'Neill

Lisa O'Neill

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The cleverness is in the contracting after the expansion.


Since joining Thought Leaders, I have become a thinking addict. Addicted to thinking through solutions, considering concepts, and playing with ideas. The risk with thinking of stretching and expanding concepts is that you can end up with a desk full of complexity and nothing commercial to show for it.

The real cleverness comes from being able to make your cleverness relevant. From being able to boil down your glorious big pot of ideas into a simple and elegant solution.

“Simple is clever. Complicated just means that you haven’t been clever enough to reduce ‘it’ to its essence”.
Phil Dourado

As thought leaders, we can get captivated by our own cleverness, addicted to being complicated over enjoying the simple pleasure of an easily absorbent solution.

The process of Pink Sheets makes our ideas multidimensional. They force us to think up (context), think down (content), make a point (concept), and appeal to the logical and the creative.

Stretching your thinking and abstracting things out into a bigger and wider concept can often make you less commercially smart. We can add complexity and complicate our ideas to the point that it is not easily understood by others.

The cleverness is in the contracting after the expansion. Knowing how to make your big idea simpler, more powerful, and more potent. Smartening things down is a wonderful process to put your thinking through.

Write a “B” statement and then remove all the words that do not matter.

You might make the statement: “The quality of people’s energy directly impacts on the quality of their life and the impact on everything around them.”

Now circle the keywords in the statement. Quality, energy, impact, and everything are the four words that stand out.

Play with these words to create a mantra: try several options.
– Everything that has an impact starts with energy?
– The quality of energy creates impact?
– Energy and impact are everything?

Or simply, “Energy is Everything.”

Creating a ‘mantra’ makes your statement memorable.
It is tweetable. It’s tight.

Expansion is clever – contracting is commercial.


Lisa O’Neill

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