Focus on solutions not on problems

Underwater pen

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). In order 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!


Simple intelligence

One of the most memorable case studies I came across on Japanese management was the case of the empty soap box, which happened in one of Japan's biggest cosmetics companies. The company received a complaint that a consumer had bought a soap box 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 soap box 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 soap boxes that passed through the line to make sure they were not empty. No doubt, they worked hard and they worked fast but they spent whoopee amount to do so.

But when a rank-and-file employee in a small company was posed with the same problem, 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 soap box passed the fan, it simply blew the empty boxes out of the line.

Keep it small and simple!

From India, Bangalore
Hey, The japanese case was too good. It is true that often in life petty issues would be come huge more because of our anxiety and thoughtlessness. Good article... Regards, Soumya Shankar
From India, Bangalore
I have a small doubt. Can i be able to attach a file with the extension as .pps but it is a ppt presentation. Kindly help Anu
From India, Madras
you can attach, even this is 0 bytes, I think you are attaching the shortcut, not the original file, check once again
From India, Bangalore
Let me try Regards Anu
From India, Madras

Attached Files
File Type: zip (225.0 KB, 496 views)

Many years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune of

owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender.

The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer's beautiful

daughter. So he proposed a bargain.

He said he would forgo the farmer's debt if he could marry his daughter.

Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. So the

cunning money-lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter.

He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an

empty money bag.

Then the girl would have to pick one pebble from the bag.

1) If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her

father's debt would be forgiven.

2) If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father's

debt would still be forgiven.

3) But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into


They were standing o! n a pebble strewn path in the farmer's field. As they

talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them

up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and

put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick a pebble from the bag.

Now, imagine that you were standing in the field.

What would you have done if you were the girl?

If you had to advise her, what would you have told her?

Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.

2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and

expose the money-lender as a cheat.

3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to

save her father from his debt and imprisonment.

Take a moment to ponder over the story. The above story is used with the

hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and

logical thinking. The girl's dilemma cannot be solved with traditional

logical thinking. Think of the consequences if she chooses the above logical


What would you recommend to the Girl to do?

Well, here is what she did ....

The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without

looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where

it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

"Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind, if you look into the bag

for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked."

Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had picked

the white one. And since the money-lender dared not admit his dishonesty,

the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely

advantageous one.


Most complex problems do have a solution. It ! is only that we don't attempt to think.

really smart na?

From India, Mumbai
Hi Friends,
All case studies were too good. Even I was asked one case study in my interview but :( i couldn't able to answer it correctly let's see if you people can answer it.
Once in an office one Employee complained to the HR manager that our inhouse coffee person don't cleans the kitchen and utensils properly and don't provide us hygenic food as when he was heaving tea after finishing it at the bottom of the glass he found one cocrockh or flies.
Can any body tell me Keeping urself as that HR person what will be your next step
Whether you'll scold that office boy or will do enquiry or any thing else.
Willl be waiting for your answers.

From India, Chennai
If were an HR manager there, I will not scold anyone there could have been many possibilities however...............
I would have asked the canteen personeel to use disposable glasses and cups to ensure hygiene.

From India, Mumbai
Japanese thinking - another example:

The Japanese have always loved fresh fish. But the waters close to Japan have

not held many fish for decades. So to feed the Japanese population, fishing

boats got bigger and went farther than ever.

The farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring in the fish. If the

return trip took more than a few days, the fish were not fresh. The Japanese did

not like the taste.

To solve this problem, fishing companies installed freezers on their boats. They

would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go

farther and stay longer. However, the Japanese could taste the difference

between fresh and frozen and they did not like frozen fish. The frozen fish

brought a lower price.

So fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff

them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, the fish stopped

moving. They were tired and dull, but alive.

Unfortunately, the Japanese could still taste the difference. Because the fish

did not move for days, they lost their fresh-fish taste. The Japanese preferred

the lively taste of fresh fish, not sluggish fish.

So how did Japanese fishing companies solve this problem? How do they get

fresh-tasting fish to Japan?

To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the

fish in the tanks. But now they add a small shark to each tank. The shark eats a

few fish, but most of the fish arrive in a very lively state. The fish are


As soon as you reach your goals, such as finding a wonderful mate, starting a

successful company, paying off your debts or whatever, you might lose your

passion. You don't need to work so hard so you relax.

Like the Japanese fish problem, the best solution is simple. It was observed by

L. Ron Hubbard in the early 1950's.

"Man thrives, oddly enough, only in the presence of a challenging


The Benefits of a Challenge

The more intelligent, persistent and competent you are, the more you enjoy a

good problem. If your challenges are the correct size, and if you are steadily

conquering those challenges, you are happy. You think of your challenges and get

energized. You are excited to try new solutions. You have fun. You are alive!

Recommendations :

Instead of avoiding challenges, jump into them. Beat the heck out of them. Enjoy

the game.

If your challenges are too large or too numerous, do not give up. Failing makes

you tired. Instead, reorganize. Find more determination, more knowledge, more


Don't create success and lie in it. You have resources, skills and abilities to

make a difference.

Put a shark in your tank and see how far you can really go! 8)


From India, Bangalore

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