Why Didn’t I Think of That?

Nearly every morning both my wife, Jamie, and I make small concoctions for ourselves. They are comprised of two things: water and a scoop of fruit and vegetable powder. In all honesty, it’s not something I came up with on my own. I prefer a huge latte as I roll out of bed; but Jamie convinced me that it is good for us. I reluctantly agreed to start the regime. Now, it’s a habit. Like most habits, we rarely think about it.

We just do.

There is one part of the doing process that I don’t enjoy: putting the mixture together. Adding the water to the lidded cup is well within my skill set, but scooping the powder from the large container into the smaller one causes a bit of a challenge. Inevitably, I spill some.

Frankly, I’ve just grown to accept green powder spillage as a byproduct of taking care of myself. I figure that a small mess on the kitchen counter is worth the tradeoff. However, if I’m traveling and have to go from manufacturer powder container to small storage bag to suitcase to hotel room to cup – I refrain. At that point, the bar is too high, I travel without it, and the habit falls by the wayside.

All that changed when we received an item for free from the powder manufacturer. When we opened the package, we found a funnel with a resealable lid on both ends. You uncover the large lid to add 3-4 doses of powder. Once resealed, it’s safe to move it about. When you reach the cup, you open the small-cap and disperse the desired amount. No bells or whistles. No unneeded technology or lights. It’s simple, elegant, and solves the problem.

I asked myself, Why didn’t I create this?

That’s often what happens in our lives at work and home. We deal with problems without thinking about how to make them better. Then someone comes along and shows us a better design solution.

I recently talked with Deepa Prahalad for the Leadership Lab podcast. Deepa is an author, speaker, and innovation/design strategy consultant with an emphasis on emerging markets and social innovation. She is ranked #34 on the inaugural Thinkers 50 India list and is a member of Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches program. Deepa and I discuss the importance of design to solve problems, develop strategy, innovate, and improve society.

We have created a tool to get you thinking about the design work that you and your team complete. Your efforts may be as large as designing a product for consumers around the world or as targeted as creating a spreadsheet for your team. In each instance, you can no doubt benefit from bringing more design thinking into your work. I encourage you to print the tool, use it, and share it. You can also watch the companion video to get the design process started.

Make it a great day!   – Patrick


Image courtesy of Unsplash.com