Win! Win!. . . Win! This has been my philosophy for coming up with innovative problem solving ideas. What it means is that rather than searching for a simple solution to a problem, or even a win-win situation, I always strive to find a solution that provides multiple benefits and solves several problems at the same time. To win is good, a win-win is better, but a win-win-win is best and should always be our goal. It is OK if we have to settle for a win-win, but we strive for the highest level of potential good.
Let me give you an example:
There is a manufacturer in town that accumulates a large number of 5 gallon plastic containers in the course of producing their product. Their “problem” is what to do with all of these containers they are accumulating. A man stops by and offers to visit every week and haul all of the containers away to the dump. It is going to cost the company money, but their problem is solved . . . a definite “win”. Some time later another man stops by and tells the foreman that those containers could be recycled, and that he would be willing to come by every week and haul them to the recycling center . . . and he will do it for free. The problem has now been solved as a “win-win”. Some time later, a third man drops by and tells the foreman that his company up the street has been purchasing 5 gallon plastic containers and that he would like to purchase the ones that they have been throwing away. Now the problem has been solved as a “win-win-win”! Our first company wins as they went from paying for disposal . . . to no cost . . . to eventually earning money for their buckets. The second company wins because they now spend half of what they had been spending for the exact same items. Society gets the third win because no longer are these buckets going to the landfill or even going through the expense of being recycled. You might even get to throw in a fourth win when both companies save enough money to hire a new employee each and so two new jobs are created!
As you read through my ideas you will see that most of them provide multiple benefits to the primary issues they are designed to solve. This is the best way to find new solutions to old problems because most people and companies are already operating in the “win” zone, some have already moved into the “win-win” zone, and so the biggest opportunities now remain in the “win-win-win” and beyond!
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