Creative Thinking at Its Best

We sometimes overlook the fact that creative thinking can be used at every level of our existence. In fact, the more often we exercise that important approach to problem solving, the better we become at it.

It’s also important to note that anyone and everyone can and should put forth an effort at being more creative in our attempt to overcome obstacles and solve problems. In fact, here’s an example to prove that fact.

A high school principal was alerted by one of the janitors to a persistent problem in the girls’ bathroom. Apparently, some of the female students were leaving lipstick kisses on the mirrors. The janitor had left notes on the bathroom walls requesting that the girls cease this practice but to no avail. Every evening the janitor would wipe the lipstick off the mirrors, and the next day even more kisses would reappear. It soon became a bit of a game.

The principal usually took a creative approach to problem solving. Therefore, the next day he asked a few girls from each class to meet with him in the bathroom.

“Thank you for coming,” said the principal. “I’m sure you’ve noticed that there are several lipstick kisses in the mirrors in this bathroom.”

The girls immediately grinned at each other.

“As I’m sure you know, modern lipstick is cleverly designed to stay on the lips, and therefore the lipstick is not easy to clean off the mirrors. We have therefore had to develop a special cleaning regime, and my hope is that when you see the effort involved you will help spread the word that we’d all be better off if those responsible for the kisses would use tissue paper instead of the mirrors in the future.”

At this point the janitor stepped forward with a sponge squeegee, which he took into one of the toilet cubicles, dipped into the toilet bowl, and then used to clean one of the lipstick-covered mirrors.

The janitor smiled. The girls departed and never again were lipstick kisses found on the mirrors. That, my friend, was creative thinking!

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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