Difference between Focusing on Problems and Focusing on Solutions

A couple of days a go I received an interesting e-mail from a freind, and i thought it would be nice to share it, read it below.

"Case 1

When NASA began the launch of astronauts into space, they found out that the pens wouldn't work at zero gravity (ink won't flow down to the writing surface). To solve this problem, it took them one decade and $12 million. They developed a pen that worked at zero gravity, upside down, underwater, in practically any surface including crystal and in a temperature range from below freezing to over 300 degrees C. And what did the Russians do...?? They used a pencil.

Case 2

One of the most memorable case studies on Japanese management was the case of the empty soapbox, which happened in one of Japan's biggest cosmetics companies. The company received a complaint that a consumer had bought a soapbox that was empty. Immediately the authorities isolated the problem to the assembly! line, which transported all the packaged boxes of soap to the delivery department. For some reason, one soapbox went through the assembly line empty. Management asked its engineers to solve the problem. Post-haste, the engineers worked hard to devise an X-ray machine with high-resolution monitors manned by two people to watch all the soapboxes that passed through the line to make sure they were not empty. No doubt, they worked hard and they worked fast but they spent a whoopee amount to do so.

But when a rank-and-file employee in a small company was posed with the same problem, he did not get into complications of X-rays, etc., but instead came out with another solution. He bought a strong industrial electric fan and pointed it at the assembly line. He switched the fan on, and as each soapbox passed the fan, it simply blew the empty boxes out of the line."

It's true isn't it, we always work really hard to solve a problem, sometimes we come up brilliant ideas to solve it, but most of the times you don't need a brilliant solution, we just need a solution.


Ali said...
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KaBabJi said...

In my company they would have called for a meeting, identified the problem maker.. Fired him, and then a six sigma project to solve the problem. Then the project will be shelfed and then life will move on!! :)

Ali said...

In one of the companies I worked for, they identified the problem, they fired everyone who refused to live with it and hired family!

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