Simple tasks require simple solutions

Once upon a time, in a soap manufacturing factory,
while working at a conveyor belt, workers had to inspect
whether the small paper boxes contained the bar of soap or
not. To do this, they had to quickly open the box, glance
inside and close it back, before the next box came to them.
If they found any empty box, they simply removed it from
the conveyor belt.

To improve this process, the CEO asked the company
engineers to devise some solution. The engineers suggested
to install an X-ray machine. The CEO not wanting to incur a
heavy expenditure for such a small task, asked the workers
working at the conveyor belt, to devise some solution.

The workers suggested to install a fan. The speed of the
fan was regulated in such a manner, so that the small empty
paper boxes would be blown away, while the filled boxes
would remain unmoved. The CEO accepted the solution.

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Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani