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Want to Make Progress? Master Subtraction.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” said Leonardo da Vinci in the fifteenth century.


In his book ‘Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less’, a professor of engineering Leidy Klotz shares insightful research on how human minds tend to add before taking away, and how it holds progress back.


In our personal and business lives this habit leads to endless ‘to-do’ lists, conflicting priorities, and extreme fragmentation.


According to Leidy Klotz, subtraction is the act of getting to less, but it is not the same as doing less.


In fact, getting to less often means thinking more.


In the new Hidden Brain podcast episode Leidy Klotz discusses compelling arguments for getting to less.


Subtracting is physiologically hard and painful. 

How to start subtracting?


Did you notice that most ideas generated during brainstorming sessions tend to focus on expansion or new projects?

💡 Instead, in your next team brainstorming, make sure to generate ideas to streamline existing projects or stop doing things that are not working anymore.


Call fewer meetings or invite fewer people to those meetings.


Simplify communication and pick an appropriate communication channel and audience for your message (don’t cc the entire team).


Free up your schedule by not attending meetings where we add little value.



Help your team subtract


The best way forward often involves removing, streamlining and simplifying things. 


Teamraderie “Team Refresh” experience with Stanford University’s Dr. Kathryn Segovia can help your team:


Make Progress through Subtraction


Studies show that the best teams do a “team refresh” every couple months. 


Teams need to have explicit conversations about: What do we need to do more of? What do we need to get rid of?


In “The Subtraction Game”, Dr. Segovia will help your team rid the thing that depletes energy. And in “The Strengths Game”, you will learn to double-down on what yields best results.


Dr. Segovia will track your team’s progress with an interactive artifact that you’ll build throughout the experience.