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THE POWER OF THE ORDINARY

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I happened to come across this story in social media, shared primarily as a joke pulled on sophisticated Japan, but to me it meant bit more than the laughable content.
In Japan, in a soap manufacturing company the soap blocks were made, then wrapped in attractive wrapping paper automatically on an assembly conveyer belt and finally packed in cartons…

Many a times it happened that the wrapping machine wrapped the paper without soap, ie., you had an empty packet without soap. There were complaints from retailers, which meant risk of losing company’s credibility. To rectify this problem the Japanese company bought a highly sophisticated X-ray scanner from the US which cost a whopping $60,000 to check on the assembly line whether the container contained soap and wasn’t empty.

A similar problem occurred at a soap manufacturing company in India. Guess what they did? One of the ordinary workmen got a simple idea. He brought a blower fan, which cost mere Rs.1,500 and placed it on the edge of the assembly line. The empty wrappers without soaps just blew away!!!
I have seen in my professional life that the more qualified someone is, the more complicated they tend to think. I have also seen very ordinary workmen come up with simple and practical ideas.

Hence, in V-guard and Wonderla we have adopted a system called ‘Quality Circle’. It is a platform for groups of workers to suggest practical ideas in their respective areas of work to solve small problems that crop up during the production process. The good ideas are appreciated and duly rewarded. The amazing thing is, some of the tips that came up from ordinary persons are those even qualified engineers wouldn’t think of.

As it is said, ‘Don’t underestimate the power of common man’. Great ideas can come from anyone, because everyone thinks differently. Often simple solutions come from ordinary people who think in simple ways. History has thousands of incidents where a very simple solution solved very complex problems. When we try to solve the root of the problem, the solution always comes out to be simple. The more complex we become, our thoughts too tend to become complex, and vice versa.

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22 Comments on "THE POWER OF THE ORDINARY"


Guest
dijesh r
3 years 11 months ago

yes sir, me too faced many of this kind ideas with my own and some others. its really works ……..if they are encouraged in mean time they will be our feature of our country and there own

Guest
Prof.V C Malarmannan
4 years 2 days ago

Yes, there are many situations in which we try to complicate the issues. we always anticipate complicated solution for a big problem, which is not true. After all the foundation of management is ‘common sense’. Look for simple solutions. Dont get carried away with the impact of a problem and look for tough solution.

Guest
James Philip
4 years 10 days ago

You said it Sir, we have a fabrication supervisor who did his schooling only up to 05th standard, but his ideas and work are outstanding, he was appreciated many times by the management for his brilliant ideas for saving the cost and improving the efficiency. As you & SRK said ‘Don t underestimate the power of a common man’! this words a true in his case.

Guest
George
4 years 10 days ago

Hi sir
I have also read this japanese story, i am an automation engr, i was also thinking on the same way like a load cell or ir source detector… Actually.. Never thought on this idea.. I truly believe that what you have done in your firm is a very brilliant as well as motivating decision.. Coz as we learn more complicated things .. We starts to think everything on that level.. And makes it complicated..

Thankyou for shairing this …

Guest
Jaikumar K. M.
4 years 11 days ago

Sir please make a platform for common man to put any ideas, because It’s seen that many ideas are been hijacked from them and they are out of the picture when these ideas come to public. Common man with lots of ideas do not know how when and where these type of ideas should be presented safely. It would be better if you could start an idea incubation platform for public.

Guest
G.Rajan
4 years 11 days ago

a very good initiative. In a marketing organisation that I know, they have “Kaizen” – mean small improvements. Each employee is asked to write down the improvement that he/she has done during a given time say 30 days, which will clearly say how the new idea if implemented would save the organisation in terms of cost and time. Each one is given a mark, and the best Kaizen is given cash awards and appreciation letters which will count for their promotion. Annaul meets are held to honor such employees along with their families — reading out how much the employee concerned saved the organisation’s time and money.
Congratulations dear Kochousephachan and I wish all right minded employers in Kerala think alike — irrespective of party or no party affiliation.

Guest
Nikitha Mariam Koshy
4 years 11 days ago

That is an excellent concept. It has made me think of my mother now. Most of the innovations start from our home. I have seen my mother doing some simple things which made me to think how amazing a house wife can be. Even in graduation projects, when I got struck on how to assemble the things developed as per my knowledge in graduation, my mother always gave wonderful and simple suggestions. They worked.. always…!!!

I believe that it is true saying, “Engineering makes graduates, but experience makes a perfect engineers”. I have seen many brilliant people who are not recognized even by their institutions. The rank in academics doesn’t measure the logical knowledge of a person- as per my thought. On this reason, I think this is an excellent idea that is the need of the hour.
Congratulations Sir…

Guest
KCR Pillai
4 years 11 days ago

Technicality is a genuine one. Many Inventors in Science and technology had hardly high profile. Either class droppers or poor circumstances to develop their talents in high profile manner. We can’t scale one’s talents with honors and degrees. It will comes out accidently as it necessary.

Guest
Peter Flextine
4 years 11 days ago

Great Initiative..!!!!!!

Guest
nanditha
4 years 11 days ago

The story is nice. What you have said is absolutely correct! We do underestimate and We are probably trained to think more complex, through education. Can we have an education system which accommodates individuals who think differently? Sir, people like you are already making a lots of differences in society. That is an inspiration to people like me.It is nice to know that people with good heart are there in our planet:-)

Guest
Anonymous
4 years 11 days ago

Very True!

Guest
Sreejith
4 years 11 days ago

A nice venture…As a metaphor says, Everyone is born with a multi faced diomond with mud on each face…our duty is to remove mud from as much faces as possible, and feel the purity in each deeds. I feel, most of the people are intelligent enough, but the upbringing and surroundings mould him/her to be evaluated in different grades unfortunately. Even a small kid can suggest wonders…

After all, we have a history of Idukki arch dam’s position suggested by Sri.Kolumban who was not at all an engineer.

Kudos…

Guest
Radhakrishnan Raghavan
4 years 11 days ago

very good initiative and appreciate.

Guest
Terick Sebastian
4 years 11 days ago

Nice article. Could you please increase font color bit more darker.

Guest
shanif
4 years 11 days ago

Dear Sir,

Why don’t you write an autobiography to share experiences and views. It will be an asset for future generations.

You might be aware that in US and Europe we can get enough books on any topic written by great peoples in that discipline. But this practice is very seldom in India. I am sure that as a successful business man rosen from the adversaries, especially from Kerala, your book will be a treasure for future entrepreneurs.

Regards
Shanif

Guest
Anonymous
4 years 11 days ago

Most of the small ideas reached to success and proved Great ….!!!

 
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Kochouseph Chittilappilly, 33/2905 F, Vennala High School Road, Vennala, Kochi

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