Below are four simple questions, the Creative Management Challenge. Try to answer them all before looking at the answers.

  • Q1 How do you put a giraffe into a fridge?
  • Q2 How do you put and elephant into a fridge?
  • Q3 The King of the Jungle is holding a meeting for all of the animals. One of them is not there. Which one?
  • Q4 You are standing on the bank of an Alligator infested river and have to get to the other side. What do you do?

A survey by Accenture found that around 90% of Managers are likely to answer all of the questions incorrectly. Many school children under the age of six will actually get these questions right. What does this say about Management thinking? And now for the answers:

  • A1 Open the fridge, put the giraffe inside, close the fridge.
  • A2 Open the fridge, remove the giraffe, put the elephant inside, close the fridge.
  • A3 The elephant. The elephant is in the fridge.
  • A4 You swim across the river because all the alligators are attending the gathering.

I can already hear you say “Its not fair” and “they are for kids”. This is what the questions are trying to find out:

  • Q1 checks to see if you try to make simple things complicated and make assumptions about problem boundaries. Nobody actually said that the fridge was not big enough to put a giraffe inside!
  • Q2 tests your ability to consider previous actions. Who says that they are four separate questions?
  • Q3 simply tests your memory.
  • Q4 checks to see how quickly you learn. After all you must have got question 4 correct if you were a successful Senior Manager.

Try these on your colleagues and see what happens.

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