Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Difference between Focusing on Problems and Focusing on Solutions

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.

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 huge 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.

Moral Of The Story:
Always look for simple solutions.Focus on solutions, not on problems.