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By Bryan Laychak

I was at the park the other day with my kids and I noticed some children playing on the zip line; a handlebar they hold onto and zip across the park.  It was not 50 feet high, nor suspended over a ravine, but it was high enough to give some children trouble in reaching the bar.

All different sized children were playing on it, with the taller ones grabbing on with ease. The medium-sized children were trying to give boosts to the smaller children who were having trouble reaching.

This admiral act of collaboration continued until one of the smallest children in the group had another solution: She took off the sweater that was tied around her waist, got one of the older kids to thread it through the zipline handlebar so that it dangled down.  little girl looking upNow, there was a way for all of the kids to reach the bar and be able to enjoy the activity.  It was amazing to see the person you least expected to have the answer, find the courage to share it, and a way to implement it and make it work.

So, look around your team, make sure that everyone has the chance to share their thoughts, and that every voice is heard.  The solution may come from an unexpected place!


 

One Comment

  1. Hi Bryan

    A lovely story and a lesson in observation. Studies have shown that children aged 5-8 are the best at creative thinking. I think because they nor other children judge as harshly as adults do. I second your lesson – looking for ideas in the most unexpected places and people.
    And to add – when they do give you the fantastic novel solutions you were looking for – praise, don”t judge.

    I can just imagine a typical mom’s reaction to the fantastic solution that brought pleasure to all. No you cant can’t do that , you will…. ” stretch the new jersey”, … “make it dirty” … “get hurt”… There are always 100 ways to kill the idea. It is so easy, even with good intent, to suffocate new ideas. I myself have to guard against it all the time. And we have to protect ideas so much more when they come from unexpected places…

    Regards, Lu-Marie

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