In order to have true focus within an organization, we need clarity of strategy. One practical way to attain this is by understanding Occam’s Razor.

William of Occam once said, “It is vain to do with more what can be done with less.” There’s a lot that can be said about Occam’s Razor, but the theory basically boils down to this: whenever you’re faced with two decisions, pick the simpler choice.

That’s it. We don’t need to come up with intricate responses to issues. We don’t need to construct monoliths when simple frameworks can get the job done. Just because we have the ability to sound intelligent by providing a complicated response to a problem doesn’t mean we’ve discovered an effective panacea.

Wouldn’t it be great if we always picked the simpler of two choices? Whether dealing with a Problem of Practice regarding student learning or an organizational issue during a staff meeting, surveying the options and making a habit of choosing the simplest one can reap huge rewards. Over time, these simple choices will result in a less cluttered and fragile organization–especially when compared to organizations that are trying to do too much.

Here are some simple options you may be able to incorporate within your organization:

  • Maybe it’s easier to only use EAA as your PLC protocol
  • Maybe you can just use the publisher’s scope & sequence and pacing guide
  • Maybe you don’t need to give an assessment that won’t guide your teaching
  • Maybe an email message is all that’s needed–not a full-blown meeting
  • Maybe focusing more on core instruction and less on intervention will make for a more manageable and effective learning day
  • Maybe you can film the lesson once and then show that video over and over for instructional purposes
  • Maybe you don’t need to pay for that program anymore
  • Maybe you don’t need as many grades in the grade book
  • Maybe you just need to say no

Incorporating Occam’s Razor into your thought process can save valuable time and resources while lifting morale and maintaining a strong focus on goals that impact.

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