Before I share with you the purpose of this article, I must share with you a small business story. It’s the kind that never took place, but could have. While the people and place are fictional, the concepts are very real. Please take a moment and visit The Broom Factory.
The people of Pepperwig Kansas had a problem, the vacuum cleaner. For most of America, it was a boom to easier cleaning. To the citizens of this town, it was a threat to commerce.
The local broom factory had kept the town in business with it’s reliable hardware. They even had a secondary line with a brand of dustpans. Now, everyone was worried for their local bread and butter industry.
Everyone except Arthur Cleveland, he had a plan. It was radical, but he knew it would work. He took the stem of the broom, repainted it, and had a nice walking stick. The dust pan, bent slightly became a coal scoop, and the bristles of the broom became a small cleaning brush.
Arthur presented his idea to the owner of the Broom Factory, Mr Bryant. Whether he thought Arthur’s idea was brilliant, or he was just so desperate, he agreed. The idea worked, and before you knew it, the factory was turning out even more new items using the same materials.
The factory and the town was rescued from ruin. Each family continued to make a good living. As a matter of fact, each household had enough left over money to purchase, a brand new vacuum cleaner.
The moral of this silly little story is simple and clear. Our resources don’t have to change to make something completely new, just our outlook does. Perspectives and paradigms are normally our only obstacles between us and the horizon.
What broom is in your idea closet that can become a walking stick, a coal shovel, and a hand brush? That’s the blessing of children, they repurpose ideas every day. We make the mistake of calling it play, when we should view it as research and development.
Look at an old idea today. Pretend your five years old again, transform it into something new. After you’ve laughed and had a little fun, ask yourself. How can I implement this new idea? You just might find that old broom, makes a great walking stick to climb a new mountain with.