26 April 2005

Keep it Simple

I received an email from a friend of a friend who sent this...I think it is a brilliant lesson:

One of the most memorable case studies 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.

Moral of the story: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)
i.e.always look for simple solutions. Devise the
simplest possible solution that solves the problem :-)

So, learn to focus on solutions not on problems "If
you look at what you do not have in life, you don't
have anything" "If you look at what you have in life,
you have everything"

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