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Case # 1: When
NASA began the launch of astronauts into space, they found out that the pens would not work at zero gravity (ink will not flow down to the writing surface).

Solution # 1
: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.

Solution # 2
: 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.

Solution # 1
: 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.

Solution # 2
: 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.


· Always look for simple solutions.
· Devise the simplest possible solution that solves the problems.
· Always focus on solutions
& not on problems.


Pankaj Chandan

From India, New delhi
Thanks Pankaj for the post. You have done a good job of a post, in 2007, at Difference between focusing on problems and focusing on solutions - Ravikanth's Blog <link updated to site home> ( Search On Cite | Search On Google ) , which was not that effective.
A retired academic in UK

From United Kingdom
Pankaj,This is a good message to all of us. we should concentrate on solutions.RegardsAnjan

It's a great battle to educate people. Not easy. so many take objections when I call "A spade a spade", as the saying goes.
Actually you have done a good job with your reply.
The message should be loud and clear to everyone that please do give due credit to the source / author whose work you choose to pick up and repost. Its an etiquette to learn.[/QUOTE]

From United Kingdom
Pankaj, that was a cracker.
I knew the first one about the pencil.
The soapboxes were new to me.
My n0-- 9891727324
my mail ---
my name -- DEBANIK (Deb to some)

From India, New Delhi
Thanks Pankaj Da ... I liked the message...
You have to sometimes think 'Out of the Box' rather than going around the same Rank and Files of decision making and arriving at complexities.
Thanks again for the wonderful Case's.
rgds / Jayesh

Dear Mr Pankaj Chandan,

I have been registered in this cite to-day. One of my best friend, told me to register with the cite. It is a good cite which will keep abreast on the new topics and enhance our knowledge. I hereby append my comments on the topic of focusing on problem vis-a-vis resolution. You have quoted two cases in this regard dealing with the problem and solution but "difference" between two has not been illustrated. I have tried my best to discuss the difference.

Focusing on problem and focusing on resolutions are both sides of a coin. Both the focuses are inter-related. There is no resolution without problem. Problem is resolved. Necessity of resolution arises only, when the problem comes. Rose flower is liked by all but do not forget that the plant has sharp thorns to safe guard the flower. On the other hand, we can say that the man performs only either to solve the problem or with the ultimate motto that he should not face the problem for the time to come. There is an old phrase, SAVE FOR THE RAINY SEASON. Man earns not only for livelihood but for saving also. Those who do not save, get into problem and the resolution is the far end for them.

A day becomes full only with Day and Night (24 hours) say light and dark. The Light is resolution and the Dark is problem. The life is full of Ups and Downs, where Ups are the benefits / pleasure / pros and the Downs are the loss / displeasure /cons.

One should not always focus on problems. He should be optimistic and not pessimistic. The problem comes and goes. The personnel appointed as Auditors are always pessimistic. They focus either on the prevalent problems and to create problem for others. This habit is not liked by people in the every day changing World. He who digs a pit for others, falls himself into it.

Suppose a train is running smoothly on its path. The driver has to apply the breaks at the Railway station and the train comes to halt. For engine, it is man made problem but it is resolution / convenience for the passengers. In case of accident, the driver has to apply the break all of a sudden or train demolishes whatever comes in its way before it stop. This problem is serious. A sound body consumes something unhygienic and it becomes a problem. The diagnostic centres are only to pin point the problem but the Physician cures the same. Hence the Diagnostic Centres are focusing on the problem whereas the Physician focuses on the resolution.

I have attended discourses of a learned person. I remember, among other noble advice, he said that a man suffering from some disease is an indication of some problem inside the body. Had the body not indicated this problem, it would have been finished without notice. Hence the problem has necessitated the solution. Until and unless the neighbour or friend does not discuss his problem with you, how can you focus on resolution or advise him the remedy.

So these two are inter-related.



From India, Ludhiana
Dear Mr.Pankaj, Good posting, people should go for simple solution in right time. Rgds Krishna
From India, Bangalore
Hi Chandan, Your posting is very interesting. It gives a useful message for all. Keep posting such nice messages. Y. K. Kalia, Advocate, Karnal(Haryana).
From India, Delhi
Hi Pankaj,
very good case studies. The study makes you think that you need to work smarter and should have common sense. its not always required to invest huge amount, time or energy in solving some problems.
sheetal Sahasrabudhe

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