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In Pursuit of Elegance by Matthew E. May (Book Review of the Week-ish)

“You can observe a lot just by watching.” – Yogi Berra

In his new book, “In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing”, author Matthew May offers a prescriptive any business can use to unlock their creativity and their potential. By focusing on 4 elements he finds in common among elegant solutions – symmetry, seduction, sustainability and subtraction – May illustrates how businesses can solve problems in new ways.

Much like Malcolm Gladwell, May ties together disparate cases where companies, governments and managers found elegant solutions to look for the common thread among them. He then looks at how your business can apply these same lessons. And much like those of us here at thinks Central, , May is clearly a fan of kaizen – the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement. To that end, May highlights how companies have used kaizen – and particularly its emphasis on observation – to solve problems at their root instead of simply on the surface. While May sometimes wanders a bit far afield, he continually cycles back to this core theme, and ties his observations to practical advice useful in any business. May did this so well, in fact, that I bought a copy for every member of my team to read, too. You should pick up a copy, too


Because when all is said and done, May recognizes in “In Pursuit of Elegance” that elegant solutions are less about “thinking outside the box,” and more about putting the box to good use, too.

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Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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