The two choices for anyone with a new idea

“It’s simple.”

“It’s complicated.”

When you talk to someone about your new idea, they’re going to realize right away that it’s one or the other.

The trap is trying to pitch a complicated cultural shift, possibility or project as if it’s simple.

Darwin’s insight about how the world evolved is simple once you understand it, but it represents such a conceptual leap that bringing it to someone who’s looking for a simple and easy explanation is sure to fail. But if you invite someone along for a journey instead of a quick fix, you earn the right to take your time and tell your story.

Some non-profits are simple, “there’s an earthquake, and these people need food right now.” Some are complicated, “we can create a significant, permanent change in the culture by treating people with dignity so that they can live fuller, more complete lives.”

The simple/complex trap often confuses well-meaning people in politics, business and the arts. The solution isn’t to dumb down the complex. The solution is to invite the right people along on the journey.