By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an exercise to challenge your problem solving skills. Reading time: 2:45
You are the marketing director for a major producer of bath soap. Sales are lagging particularly among consumers with young children.
Research shows that children perceive that the bath soap will burn their eyes. Yet the facts are clear: the opposite is true.
Tests confirm that the soap will NOT burn their eyes. Yet the perception persists and sales continue to lag. What do you do to enhance sales of this bath soap particularly to consumers with young children?
You lead. Creatively. Just like Edward Bernays did in the 1920s to help
Procter & Gamble sell more bars of Ivory soap.
Bernays, the father of the public relations profession, donated large cakes of the soap to art schools in 1925 to use in sculpture competitions sponsored by Procter & Gamble.
Invariably young sculptors would inadvertently put their soap-covered fingers in their eyes. Then they personally discovered that the soap did not burn their eyes.
Soap sales for bath washing (and art) zoomed after that leadership decision to spike their creative problem-solving juice.
Mirror Mirror On the Wall
You are the marketing director for a large office building. Tenants are complaining because they have to wait too long for the elevators. However the elevators are in perfect running order.
You realize that the owners of the building made a cost decision to build fewer elevators than would be ideal to serve your tenants. What do you do now to quell the complaints?
You lead. Creatively. Just like the real estate developer who installed large mirrors that covered the walls outside the elevator doors. Then the elevators seemed to run faster when people waiting for the elevator were distracted by looking at themselves in the mirrors. Complaints fell after that leadership decision to spike their creative problem-solving juice.
Curing Cheese Creatively
You are the marketing director for a United States -based cheese factory. Your European business is lagging.
An analysis shows that in order for you to compete favorably in Europe you will have to build a plant there. But there is no budget to build a plant. What do you do now to better serve the European market from the United States?
You lead. Creatively. Just like the cheese manufacturer who decided to ship their cheese around the world –the long way–on an ocean liner. After nearly 5 months of sailing and curing on the ship, the company tapped into that new market without building a plant there. Cheese sales zoomed after that leadership decision to spike their creative problem-solving juice.
Whether it’s cheese, or mirrors or soap, leaders solve problems. Creatively. So can you spike your creative problem-solving juice. How?
Wash your eyes out with a cleansing solution of imagination and inspiration; a cleansing solution that helps you see beyond the current situation. Wash your eyes out with a cleansing solution that never burns your eyes, never makes you cry but always helps you defy— the status quo.
Creatively. One spike at a time.
Problem-solve creatively to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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