I was first introduced to Occam’s Razor (“simpler explanations are, other things being equal, generally better than more complex ones”) through this article by Carl McGown. It resonated with me for a number of reasons but mostly because I recognised in myself (and others) the coach’s tendency to want to solve every problem by increasing complexity. It remains one of only a few articles that I remember directly and keep closeby and I would like to think it informs my daily work.
In terms of complexity, American Football probably ranks the highest (or greatest or worst… however you want to look at it) among sports. This is an interesting article about one coach who has found success by reducing complexity. My favourite line is this one – “Of course, coaches often say they are “simplifying the playbook,” but Harbaugh has been able to do it coherently and in a way that actually aids his quarterback’s ability to succeed rather than simply removes options.”
Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.
I saw an interesting presentation last week from the former CEO of Miami Dolphins (among other things) who talked about the difference between complicated and complex. He basically uses ‘complex’ when things deal with humans and relationships. There is a bit of an explanation of this definition here: http://www.economplex.org/complexity-science/complex-vs-complicated/
Occam’s Razor has been used and misused throughout history, mainly because everyone ignores the “all things being equal” bit. A more restrictive form of Occam’s Razor states that of two explanation leading to the same conclusion, the simpler one is the better explanation. Which very different from most people’s execution of the razor.
Here is a nice discussion of it.