Dodge the stone

Get a “assistant driver” and avoid damage

Recently, I read in the newspaper about a tragic accident. An elderly car driver was driven against the stone in the center of a newly built traffic circle. He had not seen the stone. He drove the working route twice a day and he knew blindly.

Such accidents also happen in companies and each one novelty, which makes up research and development, becomes a stone into which one enters, if one can not leave the well-rehearsed processes and thoughts.

Now it sounds so easy to leave the routine – but it is not. The daily business needs the routine and for licentious thoughts that source of creativity, is hardly time.

A solution to the dilemma is a companion who has a different view, a kind of “assistant driver”. He can see more quickly where the stones are and alert them in time. This allows the driver to avoid and avoid major damage.

Assistant driver as coach brings new perspectives
Assistant driver as coach brings new perspectives

Recently, as a R&D-coach, I had a mandate that also had this focus. A product had to be optimized at its expense. The project should identify cost reduction approaches for the various components of that product. Although the project team included experts in high-voltage engineering, they did not want to miss options that were masked by potential operational blindness. That’s why, regardless of theirs, I should design and evaluate the potential for cost savings.

For this, I have informed me on customer site about the product and compiled the necessary information – pecification, Plans, Limitations, Subsidies, Costs … We have agreed not to share ideas from the customer, so I wasn’t biased.

At first I divided the product into the most important components and created cost reduction ideas for each of these components. I used literature and patent research. For all my concepts, I created an estimation of the cost reduction.

The results were discussed in detail with the customer. Much was also on their list and confirmed them the potential of the approaches. Some ideas, however, were new and opened up new possibilities. With my help as a “assistant driver” they were able to recognize the stone in the middle of the traffic circle in an early stage.

The motorist had to go to the hospital but survived without late damage – luck.

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