Simply on a roll

You know that moment?

You see something and straightaway it reminds you of something else.
There I was in a little coffee shop when I spotted a clever and so simple means of showing what the day's food offerings were.  The menu was presented on a large roll of brown wrapping paper attached to one of the walls making it easily visible and yet well out of the way.  All that's needed each time the menu changes is for someone to tear off the previous choices; pull down a clean portion and add the new.   Clever and so simple.

And that reminded me of a proponent of Simplicity - Dr Edward de Bono - who in 1998 provided us a book of the same name.  He gave us many other ways to think of course, including his ground-breaking Six Thinking Hats.  In a post some years back on decision-making I mentioned his PMI technique which you might like to come back to here.

Why did it remind me of Dr de Bono?

I had the great good fortune to be present at one of his seminars.  He had been invited along to the educational organisation I worked for at the time and all staff were invited.  He had asked only for an Overhead Projector (an OHP remember those? I loved them!) and a roll of transparency film - Getting the connection?

Sitting at the projector with a handful of OHP pens, he spoke and wrote at the same time, mesmerising us with his ideas.  And those ideas kept flowing and as they did so too did the acetate roll; clearing the bright write on platform at the speed of creativity.  It was an experience that I shall never forget.  Clever and so simple.

I've since seen and applied variations of thinking on a roll.  In workshops when we needed to generate loads of ideas we would sometimes get participants to write their thoughts onto a roll of cheap, plain wallpaper.  Strips would then be torn off and left on the table, the floor and obviously attached to any available wall.  At the end of the session the roll would be rolled, ready for recap or reuse at another session.

Rather like our workshop wallpaper, Dr de Bono also left with his roll.

I wonder how the menu has changed at the coffee shop.

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