Solve It Again!

What do you do when you find a solution to a problem that was bugging you? Probably you feel relaxed, relieved and even rejoice your success.

Pause and think again!  Is this the best you could do?  Is the solution the most optimal one?

Let’s consider a 3X3 Rubik’s cube. It has 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different configurations. That’s 43 quadrillions + ways the cube can come in front of you. Mathematicians and scientists have proven that about 300 million of these configurations can be solved under 20 moves (considered as God Number among speed-cubists, read more about this here). If you had ever solved a cube, say, in 64 moves you may feel happy that you have found a solution but be aware of the fact that there are many better ways to solve it. I stress on the word ‘many’ because I want to drive home a point that under most problem-solving situations in life and in business the ‘first solution’ we hit upon is not necessarily the most optimal solution.

So, what do all these mean?

Innovation should not stop when we find ‘a’ solution to ‘a’ problem. We should keep innovating ‘other‘ possible solutions to the same problem because we don’t want to invent just another way to solve but the most optimal way to solve a problem. And if you don’t keep at finding the other solutions, sooner or later another smart person (read competition) would. That could mean losing market share or even close of business for you. So, when we find a solution to a problem, let’s not be complacent, rather make an effort to Solve It Again.

avijit@nonlinear.in

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