This is a smoking room in an IT company. What a brilliant idea?
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.
As I was passing the elephants, I suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope, tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
I saw a trainer near by and asked, why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away.
“Well,” he said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
I was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?
I once had a friend who grew to be very close to me. Once when we were sitting at the edge of a swimming pool, she filled the palm of her hand with a little water and held it before me, and said this:
You see this water carefully contained on my hand? It symbolizes Love. As long as you keep your hand caringly open and allow it to remain there, it will always be there. However, if you attempt to close your fingers around it and try to posses it, it will spill through the first cracks it finds. This is the greatest mistake that people do when they meet love… They try to posses it, they demand, they expect… and just like the water spilling out of your hand, Love will retrieve from you.
For love is meant to be free, you can not change its nature.
If you have people you love, allow them to be free beings. Give and don’t expect. Advise, but don’t order. Ask, but never demand. It might sound simple, but it is a lesson that may take a lifetime to truly practice. It is the secret to true Love. To truly practice it, you must sincerely feel no expectations from those who you love, and yet an unconditional caring.
Recently I posted a blog on Tamil E-Books which contains the PDF version of Manase Relax Please by Swami Sugabothananatha.
This book became so famous so that it also came in Audio Version. Nizhalgal Ravi had given voice to Swami Sugabothanantha’s thoughts. I was searching for the mp3 version for a long time. The main reason is I could not find time to read this book.
My friend Elankumaran sent me a link for some Tamil E-Books. This also has the mp3 version of Manase Relax Please. I hope you will enjoy listening.
The following are the mp3 links where you can download all parts.
Updated Links :
In order to solve this problem, they hired Andersen Consulting (Accenture today). 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 Russians do…???
The Russians used a Pencil instead !!!
“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.”
In other words, “Focus on problem leads to inventions! & Focus on solution leads to discoveries!”