25 Jan 15|Innovation

It’s a no brainer really – isn’t this what we all want – to get to the root of a problem? Makes me wonder why then, there is such avoidance at times to doing just that.

It’s a no brainer really – isn’t this what we all want – to get to the root of a problem? Makes me wonder why then, there is such avoidance at times to doing just that. Amantha Imber from Inventium spoke about this during a webinar a couple of weeks ago. LOVED her examples so I am going to share one of them here – but all credit there – to Amantha. Check out the Inventium Website – they are doing awesome work in the creativity arena. They are after all based in Melbourne!!!

So take the Washington Monument. It’s the world’s tallest obelisk, built to commemorate General George Washington. It also lines up with the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol and the Whitehouse…

Problem: The Washington Memorial was attracting too many pigeons, who were pooping too much on the monument which meant that harsh chemicals were needed to clean the monument because you can’t have a US monument with poop all over it! Instead of investigating another, less abrasive cleaner, someone had a light bulb moment and decided to investigate what it was that attracted the pigeons to the monument in the first place. Imagine an obelisk, a really tall needle type structure…not exactly an ideal place for a pigeon to rest or nest – not when compared with an abandoned building or even a used one for that matter.

The root problem investigators discovered the birds were in fact attracted by spiders – lots of spiders – that also liked to chill around the Washington Monument. But why I hear you ask were there lots of spiders there? Because of the moths of course – a gourmet dining delicacy (to a spider at least) that turned up every evening when the monument was lit up for the benefit of all the tourists. SO – at the root of the problem were the lights!

Solution: Turn the lights on a few hours later. Benefits: Less attracting light = less moths = less spiders = les pigeons = less poop! Reminds of the old lady who swallowed the bird to catch the spider to catch the fly…

This theory can be applied to all aspects of life –  workplace scenarios, relationships and health – as a matter of fact, there are many people now who believe in treating the root of the health problem and not just the symptom…

It’s a no brainer really – isn’t this what we all want – to get to the root of a problem?

It’s a no brainer really – isn’t this what we all want – to get to the root of a problem?

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