My SCRAPBOOK (సేకరణలు): A COLLECTION of articles in English and Telugu(తెలుగు), from various sources, on varied subjects. I do not claim credit for any of the contents of these postings as my own.A student's declaration made at the end of his answer paper, holds good to the articles here too:"I hereby declare that the answers written above are true to the best of my friend's knowledge and I claim no responsibility whatsoever of the correctness of the answers."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Imagine you are the manager of a 10 story office building that was built back in the days when everybody has big spacious offices. Back then two elevators were sufficient to handle number of people working in the building. But over the years large offices got converted into small cubicles and now it’s obvious that two elevators can not handle the number of people.

You have installed the fastest and most efficient computer operated elevators yet every morning and afternoon crowds of angry employees gather in the lobbies grousing about having to wait for 3 minutes or more before they can catch a ride. Tenants are threatening to leave. It’s a Crisis time.

What do you do?

If you think the problem logically (or Vertically top to down approach) it seems obvious that u have to figure out a way either
(a) to get more people up and down faster or
(b) to reduce number of people going up and down.

You could therefore:
Make the elevator shaft larger & put in larger elevators,
Or bore a hole through the building & install new elevators,
Or turn the stairways into escalators,
Or work with various employees in the building to stagger their starting and quitting times,
Or sponsor programs that extols the benefits of stair-climbing and other benefits.

All these ideas are good one's (some may be very expensive) and all would probably work to one degree or another.

But when the manager of an office building in Chicago was faced this identical problem she did none of these things.

Instead she installed wall to wall, Floor to ceiling Mirrors in every elevator lobby. She figured that people wouldn't mind waiting so much if they could spend that time looking at themselves. The solution worked perfectly.

In short she solved a different problem. Instead of trying how to add elevators and escalators or how to reduce number of people; she changed the problem and asked herself, "How do I make waiting less frustrating?”

Some times, by looking at the other side of the problem you my reach the solution.

(an email forward)



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