Translating complexity into clear advice is vital to our firm and underpins what we do: it is also vital to business life.
Clarity, or the lack of it, has plagued many of the big issues affecting Scotland of late.
The ongoing calls from around the EU for the UK Government to pin its colours to the Brexit mast and bring clarity to negotiations shows just why it matters.
The business community has been at breaking point for some time on the matter – and it is the very absence of clarity which drive that frustration.
From giving exporters confidence in their trading environment after Brexit to helping small businesses to understand business rate changes, deciphering complex situations has become a daily task shared amongst us all.
Indeed, ad man Maurice Saatchi’s mantra is called Brutal Simplicity of Thought for a reason: it communicates our aversion to overcomplicating things in favour of getting straight to the point.
Perhaps this explains why we all feel so exhausted by Brexit – the process is not only complicated, it is also lengthy, drawing out the complexities and muddying waters that we’d all prefer to be crystal clear.
Clarity also extends to tone and confidence. During the independence referendum, our colleagues, peers and clients wanted to know how change would affect the economy, and most of the nation was concerned about property prices. It can be hard not to sit on the fence but having confidence in your analysis and being clear about your perspective can aid decision-making. Ultimately decisions are what keep businesses going.
Even at a macro level clarity has a place. Scotland’s economic performance has long been a subject of keen debate, but rarely does government tell us what’s realistic or sustainable. GDP is kicked around in a polarising political debate to such an extent that it means very little on the ground.
The lack of understanding and clarity around business rates is on point. Its overhaul has been blamed for the decline of the high street, and confusion has led many small business owners to fear for their livelihoods.
What’s more, as a small nation we really should be nimbler than we are: does having 32 elected Councils really help us innovate and share services? Is Scotland more complicated than it should be?
I don’t think clarity is an unrealistic expectation in business. Our approach starts with the avoidance of jargon and runs right through our business, from the advice we give to the way we charge and explain our fees.
Imagine if the same thinking had been applied to our approach to Brexit, or to business rates, or to economic planning. Imagine if all businesses came to expect from their advisors and suppliers the same clarity of vision they possess for themselves.
Shakespeare is widely credited with the saying: "See first that the design is wise and just; that ascertained, pursue it resolutely." Yet, this line doesn’t appear in any of his plays. Whether he is the source is of little import – if we could all see the plan in front of us, the pursuit of growth would undoubtedly be all the simpler.
This article originally appeared on Insider.co.uk here.