Many of you will be familiar with Scott Adams’ naive and downtrodden cartoon character Dilbert who sits in a small cubicle all day working for a tyrannical boss. If you have not seen Dilbert before then take a look at www.dilbert.com. On last year’s calendar there was a scene where Dilbert and Dogbert were looking out over a panoramic scene. Dilbert said “wow look at that!” and Dogbert’s reply was “look at what?”.

There are times when we look at an issue with our colleagues and wonder why they cannot see the same things that we do. Have you ever been house hunting with someone who raves about the kitchen whilst you rave about the workshop or games room? This is much the same thing, we can all look at the same thing and see different facets or sometimes, like Dogbert, nothing at all.

Albert Einstein remarked that we are unable to solve problems in the same frame of reference in which they were created. So, to solve problems or make headway in a difficult business situation we need to re frame or change the way we look at things. These need not be dramatic changes. For instance:

  • This piece will not fit – try turning it through 90 degrees or maybe upside down
  • My customers are not buying the things I make – ask the question ‘Am I making the things that my customers want?’
  • Traffic lights – are they designed to stop accidents or manage traffic flow
  • I want to write upside down – do I need to design a pressurised pen or will a pencil do?

So try changing the way you look at the world and marvel at the increased opportunities.

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