Why is it necessary to spend 6 billion pounds speeding up the Eurostar train when for about 10% of that money you could have top supermodels, male and female, serving free Chateau Petrus to all the passengers for the entire duration of the journey, you’d still have 5 billion left in change and people would ask for the trains to be slowed down? So asks Rory Sutherland in this thought provoking and entertaining talk at TED.
Laughs aside, it did get me thinking about the value we as a business community place on ‘thinking big’ and how seldom we embrace the opportunity to think small. I think it has a lot to do with a fundamental fear of being ridiculed. How many times have you been in a meeting and thought of a simple solution to a ‘so-called’ complex problem, and then kept it to yourself? After all, if it was that easy someone would have thought of it already, right? And as Rory says, surely big, complex expensive problems require big, complex, expensive solutions?
So here’s a challenge, each time you’re faced with a difficult problem, spend some time thinking for the ‘smallest’ solution possible – it might just be the answer you’re looking for.