Debate Mansion


Debate Mansion
Debate Mansion

Focus: Problems or Solutions

Autumn. IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 29 October 2006
Posts: 19741

Posted: 08 May 2007 at 11:15am | IP Logged

It might be a long read but it is very interesting and humourous. Please do read... Smile

Difference between Focusing On Problems And Focusing On Solutions... What more important? Smile

Example I:

The Difference Between Focus on Problems, and Focus on Solutions: When NASA began the launch of astronauts into space, they found out that the pens wouldn't workat zero gravity. (Ink won't flow down to the writing surface) In order to solve this problem, they hired Andersen Consulting (Accenture today). It took them one decade and 12 million dollars.They developed a pen that worked at zero gravity, upside down, under water, in practically any surface including crystal and in a temperature range from below freezing to over 300 degrees C.

The Russians used a pencil...

Example II:

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.

Moral: Always look for simple solutions. Devise the simplest possible solution that solves the problems. Always Focus on solutions & not on problems

Your Views.... Smile

copperboom Senior Member

Joined: 01 May 2006
Posts: 566

Posted: 08 May 2007 at 11:46am | IP Logged
LOL People sometimes need to think outside the box and a simple solution is staring at you.
raj5000 IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 01 January 2006
Posts: 11838

Posted: 08 May 2007 at 11:55am | IP Logged
Nice Post!

Moral: Always look for simple solutions. Devise the simplest possible solution that solves the problems. Always Focus on solutions & not on problems

Yup! but at then end of the mission, don't forget deep analysis on problems for lessons learnt!

Edited by raj5000 - 08 May 2007 at 11:55am
mermaid_QT IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 25 September 2005
Posts: 11605

Posted: 08 May 2007 at 12:46pm | IP Logged
I believe that one has to understand the complexity of problem in order to think of a long -term and effective solution.
the NASA pen analogy given in the post does sound rather funny and one may instictively talk about focussing on the solution, not the problem- but again, I would like to disagree and look at the bigger picture.
I do see how simple solutions can be magical in terms of some issues, but it cannot be generalized for every work environment.

For starter, let me give example from my daily work. LOL  I can say that LOOKING at the REAL problem and ASKING the right question as to WHAT THE PROBLEM is... is of utmost importance. The entire hypothesis is driven by the question and only the right questions and proposed solution will get funding from NCI, I tell ya Wink.
Cancer drug threapy is all focussed on getting to know why, when and how the intra-cellular and inter-cellular system goes haywire! Unless you know what the problem is, solution may not be everlasting.

Okay, coming back to NASA pen- another POV. There is a reason why pen was created in spite of pencils being around.   Smile If we need pens on earth, for the same reason, one day or the other, we will need them in outer space, won;t we? I see it as having resolved the issue already Smile

Edited by mermaid_QT - 08 May 2007 at 1:01pm
mermaid_QT IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 25 September 2005
Posts: 11605

Posted: 08 May 2007 at 12:47pm | IP Logged
twin Ouch deleted, sowwy.

Edited by mermaid_QT - 08 May 2007 at 12:52pm
Tearðrops Senior Member

Joined: 24 February 2006
Posts: 830

Posted: 08 May 2007 at 6:17pm | IP Logged
Very interesting, Thanks.
Goes to show that sometimes it takes simple logic rather than complex technology to solve simple problems.

Remember at the airport they used to have queues for each check-out desk and, say there were 3 checkouts, you would always go to the queue with the least people. When you were near the front, unfortunately for you, the person infront had forgotten their passport (or some similar problem) and this caused a massive hold up. If you had gone to the longer queue you would have checked in already.

The solution to this was to open more checkouts (only joking) The solution was to have just one queue for all 3 checkouts. Everytime one is free you go to that checkout. If someone gets held up at one, it's ok because you can go to the next one. Simple really.

Edited by Tearrops - 08 May 2007 at 6:18pm
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