In 1960 the U.S. Navy had a design principle, KISS, which stands for “keep it simple stupid”.  The phrase was coined by Kelly Johnson, lead engineer for Lockheed spy planes. 

You and I are in the job search design mode right now.  Work it right, and the KISS principle may be the ticket to our biggest payoff.  So how does the U.S. government take a need-to-have and build a SR-71 spy plane? 


Break down large problems

Break down smaller problems

Write up a simple plan

Work the plan

Eliminate what does not work

Refocus and work the plan

The media would like to keep reminding us we are in a crisis and they remind us they have their fingers on the facts.  Keeping it simple, I would say solving the unemployment problem is the government’s worry, not ours.  Our worry is one thing, finding our next place of employment. 

Few of us are a super genius. Albert Einstein, a true genius, said KISS this way, “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”  So in moving forward, keep complicated out of it and make the plan something only you need to work.   

You know the large problems, you’ve been thinking about them long enough.  Write them down and then break them down into easier more basic tasks.

Albeit good choices, those smaller tasks probably are a lot of theories; theories that will need exercising to discern the really good ones.  Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to throw away nice-to-read ideas.  Ask yourself, if simplification is needed to make a manageable plan, what can be eliminated?

So this is the time to refocus and go for the gold.  Sure some redesign work will be up ahead.  There will be other problems to solve but there will be better solutions yet to be imagined too. 

Someday you and I are going to look back on this time in wonder how we never saw the KISS before. 

Deb Bryan has 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry.  She has a passion for writing.

© 2013 Blog to Work/Blogging your way to a job.  All rights reserved


3 responses

  1. Breaking down tasks/challenges/projects into smaller, more manageable segments has always been a good idea. What has me puzzled is the Einstein quote. Just what is too simple? And what does”too simple” look like in a given circumstance? Any thoughts?

  2. You can get so involved in the details that all it becomes is theory and paperwork. Instead of ‘ready, set, go’ the problem becomes ‘ready, set, set, set…..” There comes a time for performance. Imagine Dr. Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine never manufactured but rather kept in production. Would the vaccine have had real value?

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