After watching the IBM video on it’s 100 year anniversary last week, I walked away with the word innovation floating around in my head, and the constant thought of “How can I step out of the box and find a simple innovative approach to solve the issues I’m working on.”
Last night I needed a tarp to cover over the engine bay of an old pickup truck that my son and I have been working on. I knew that last weekend my 12 year old son had grabbed one of the tarps we had kicking around to cover the dog pen to give the dogs some shade. When I went to grab the tarp last night, I realized that it was held onto the top of the dog pen pretty securely using a bungie cord, a stick, and a fastener made out of rolled up aluminum foil that was about 12 inches long. I was very impressed with the aluminum foil tie-down. It was strong, easily connectable to both the fence and the tarp, and more than served its purpose to secure the tarp. Immediately, the word INNOVATION came to mind.
I spoke with my son this morning about it and told him I thought he did a great job thinking outside the box, and asked him who showed him that little trick. He just kinda looked at my funny like anybody with brains could have figured it out – he seemed more impressed with the stick solution. However, I walked away with a new trick that I will invariably use at a BBQ, in the garage, at a concert, wherever… when I need to secure something and the only thing available is some aluminum foil. This kinda put things in perspective for me, that you never know where you will learn a new trick to add to your skillset, which can then invariably be applied to an innovative solution.