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August 8, 2010

Keep It Simple!

What does the race to space in the 1950s and 1960s have in common with improving productivity in your department? In the early days of the U.S. space program, astronauts were apparently concerned because their pens would not write in the zero gravity environment of outer space. NASA, with its wealth of brainpower and resources, snapped into action and attacked the problem. Many staff hours and many dollars later the problem was solved…the first “zero-gravity pen” was developed. At the same time, the Russians, apparently unable to devote either the staff time or the budgets, also solved the problem…they gave their cosmonauts pencils.

This isn’t just a NASA or big-government problem. It happens every single day in all size companies and all size departments.  Employees spend hundreds of hours on low-value and low-impact projects, resulting in thousands of dollars of lost revenue.

This story has been repeated many times over the past 50 years.  So many times, in fact, that people believe it is true. It is not true. It is what is referred to as an urban myth. Of course, the message imbedded in the story is true. We often forget to look for simple solutions to our problems. And we often believe things are true that are not true.

Don’t overlook the obvious and keep it simple when coming up with solutions to your organizing problems!

Taken from the GO System training course, written by Chris Crouch.

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