Here's a great project called The Noun Project. The vision is to create a language that can be understood by all cultures of the world. The symbols are free to use. And it's amazing how accurately they guide you.
"When you make a movie, always try to discover what the theme of the movie is in one or two words. Every time I made a film, I always knew what I thought the theme was, the core, in one word. In “The Godfather,” it was succession. In “The Conversation,” it was privacy. In “Apocalypse,” it was morality.
The reason it’s important to have this is because most of the time what a director really does is make decisions. All day long: Do you want it to be long hair or short hair? Do you want a dress or pants? Do you want a beard or no beard? There are many times when you don’t know the answer. Knowing what the theme is always helps you."
These two things reminded me once again of the importance of simplification. But you can't just leave it at one word, can you? You can't walk into a briefing meeting, throw out a word like, "jubilation" and be done with it. It needs a well-thought out explanation. But once you leave the room, what remains without prompting or re-asking is your one word. "Jubilation".
And that's what people will refer back to when they want to re-center themselves on the task at hand. You can have a brilliantly-crafted strategic positioning line or an amazing mission statement or a beautiful collection of values but that focused word or symbol will probably still be the strongest tool for leadership and team cohesion.
If indeed it's possible to design an entire language out of symbols, or fit a feature film into one word, then brands and organizations should be able to do the same.