Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Keep an Open Mind

No matter how open minded we think we are, there are occasions where we get caught being closed. That happened to me this week when a friend of mine came forward with an off the wall comment. He said it with a smirk on his face that made me call bull$%^&. I must admit, I was wrong.

He and I both wear glasses. I have worn them most of my adult life, having been surprised that I could not see well enought to pass my DOT medical without corrective lenses. I've tried contacts and wore them for several years. But having lost them water skiing and not being able to wear them while working in food plants and weld manufacturing operations, I just resigned to wearing glasses. My wife has suggested getting Laser corrective surgery - maybe some day, my prescription has been the same for years so I am likely a good candidate.

So living in Western Canada, the typical day is in the -20 C range. It gets colder, hence our reputation, but that's an average that most residents are comfortable with. So when I walk into a home, office, mall or other building - the glasses instantly fog up. An entire industry has cropped up for anti-fogging solutions - creams, sprays - I've heard of them all. We were discussing how effective these solutions are, when he suggested I just back into the building.

What? I thought I miss-heard his comment, or his Timmy's coffee was a tad stronger than normal. But he held firm stating that if you enter the building backward, there is something about the warmth of your face that eases the shock factor and your glasses will not fog. So I tried it last night when I got home. And it worked. So I went outside to shovel the walk, and when I returned, I walked straight in - instant fog.

Interesting phenomenon. I'll have to eat my words next time I see him. I don't expect it will work at -50, but then, what does at -50. It worked several times today.

Now the danger is that everyone will be walking into the office and shopping malls backwards once they hear about this. Sounds like a safety hazard to me. Although I'm not sure its more risky than stumbling about with the glasses fogged up - or with them in hand, frantically waiving them about to clear the lens. Maybe we can install moving sidewalks like they have in Vegas so we can turn around and enter safely. A new business opportunity?

So, next time you hear a "dumb idea" from your team, don't be too quick to judge. There may be some gold nuggets in those "off the wall statements" you hear. We just have to figure out how to capitalize on them!


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