The story about the clean and the dirty toilets

There are often simple solutions to most problems if you have the ability to think differently.

ToiletI recently came across this thought-provoking story on the power of lateral thinking, i.e. thinking outside the proverbial box. Russi Mody, the legendary Chairman of Tata Steel from 1984-1993, was once holding a weekly meeting with Tata Steel staff  when a worker took up a niggling issue.

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The ingredients of motivation

Motivation is the driving force behind all our actions, from going up when the alarm clock rings in the morning to climbing Mount Everest.

motivation

Motivation is our desire to do things or to achieve results. Motivation is what makes us act, whether it is to eat a sandwich to still the hunger or to read the morning paper to know what is happening in the world. Motivation is the deciding factor in achieving your goals – and research shows that we can influence both our motivation and our self-control.

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Outside the box solution: Cutting off the legs of the employees

Sometimes bizarre jokes and other unexpected and unrelated input could act as stimuli to come up with new and simple solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.

Disabled person in the wheelchair works in the office at the computer.

The concept of lateral thinking was introduced in the 1960s by the Maltese physician and creativity educator Edward de Bono, who has written more than 50 books on thinking and creativity. The concept of lateral thinking is based on finding as many answers as possible (divergent thinking). This is done by considering as many different choices as possible, some of which may be incorrect. The thinking is provocative and the solutions should be completely unexpected.

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The importance of being proactive

Dilemma concept

A book that over the years have inspired me a lot is Stephen Covey’s The 7 habits of highly effective people. The first of Covey’s habits, on which all the six other rest is being proactive. Being proactive means taking full command of your life according to your own abilities.

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Dare to ask questions

Doubt and solution concept on blackboard

One of the many fears we have as humans is not to be perceived as knowledgeable and competent. Not least, many new and inexperienced managers carry such fears, believing that they need to manifest their leadership by being the one who knows the best in every situation. But this is often destined to fail for two reasons.

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The experiment with the five monkeys

5_monkeys

Five monkeys are placed in a cage. From the ceiling of the cage hang bananas that can be reached by using a ladder. As soon as one of the monkeys climbs the ladder to pick a banana, cool water is sprayed all over the other four apes. When the monkeys soon realise the consequence of one of them climbing the ladder, the remaining will immediately and with great force drag down anyone in the group trying to climb the ladder before the cold water is turned on. It will not be long before no one of the monkeys climbs the ladder anymore out of fear of the others.

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Creative leadership: beware of the cowardly brain

Three_monkeys-small

The brain has a “fear centre” in a part of the brain called the amygdala. This centre is not only activated in emergency situations, but whenever we face something we find uncomfortable. Activation of amygdala can give us a deep feeling of discomfort, which is so negative that we go very far to avoid it.

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