I love yogurt. The yogurt I love best is fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt. For years I thought I had two choices about how to go about eating my yogurt.
I could eat down through the yogurt and then eat the fruit. But I don’t like plain yogurt all that much and the syrupy “fruit” is too sweet to eat alone. That left me with mixing.
I could mix the fruit and the yogurt using the arduous process of stirring. This was not a great solution because I failed in the implementation stage. I rarely stirred and mixed long enough, so I wound up with pockets of fruit and pockets of yogurt. Again, not a great solution.
I thought those were my two choices. Then one day I watched a friend’s teenaged daughter take a container of yogurt out of the fridge and shake it vigorously for a few seconds.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
She gave me one of those, “how can adults be so dumb” looks. “I’m mixing my yogurt.”
“Where did you learn to do that?” Now she turned up the volume on her “dumb adult” look. “Isn’t it obvious?” she asked as she turned and sauntered out the door.
It was obvious to her, but not to me. And that’s the point.
Whatever problem you’re facing, the odds are good that other people or businesses have had it, too. And with all the great brains in the world, someone has probably come up with a solution.
One of the first steps in problem solving should be putting your head up and in swivel mode to determine if there’s already a solution out there that you can adopt and adapt.
The best solution doesn’t have to be one you come up with.