As leaders, while seeking solutions to an issue or taking decisions, do we manage to get inputs and insights from the people closest to the issue?
Often the best person to solve an issue or make an operational decision is the person closest to the issue.
This happened years back. A Soap factory was facing a peculiar challenge – Some customers were getting empty soap boxes at the retail. The issue was traced to the packing system that packed soap boxes at times, without a soap in it. As a result, the reputation was getting damaged badly.
A team of experts were formed immediately to go in to the issue and get a workable solution. After a few weeks of research, and considering multiple options, the team came up with a solution – of placing an advanced laser system that would scan every soap box for content before packing them in to larger box. And empty, defective boxes would be removed manually.
The solution was expensive, and needed stopping the conveyor every time a defective piece was found, slowing down the packing process.
Seeing all these commotions around, the floor-man manning the packing area approached the manager to check what’s going on. On getting to know the issue, he suggested that they keep a mini industrial fan facing the conveyor, which would blow away an empty box if any, on the conveyor.
When we look for solutions, when we take decisions, do we consult the people closest to the issue as well?
My name is PK Narayanan, wishing you the best, Thank you.
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