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Solving Problems in Unconventional Ways

Posted by Gwen Betts on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 @ 01:07 PM

We have these pizza rolls. At first glance, they look like your average snack, just waiting to be devoured. No one would ever suspect how these same pizza rolls have saved Thrive countless headaches, heartaches, and even dollars. They serve a purpose, and should not be eaten! Our dirty little secret: These pizza rolls have acted as a cooling solution for our older iMacs for over a year now.

About a year ago, I noticed my 27” iMac circa 2010 begin to lag. It got worse as the days went on, and I suddenly noticed that the machine was hot to the touch. For whatever reason, my machine could not stay cool. Was it bloated software, not enough ram, older processor, bad hard drive? I couldn’t tell. I was in the middle of a big project and could not afford to lose the machine for a week. The problem solver in me set out the find a short-term solution.

I began my career in technical support, so you always start with what you know: ask a question, determine a cause, and solve. You seek out the simplest solutions first.

The computer was slow and hot. Were these conditions correlated?

The first goal was to cool down the computer. We didn’t have any small fans or ice packs, but we did have a package of unopened pizza rolls. I’m also a runner, and commonly use frozen goods to ice my knee. The light bulb kicked on, and next thing you know, I strapped those babies onto the back of my computer! It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t perfect, but it worked.

The Savior of my iMac: Pizza Rolls“But, Gwen! Sanitation!” I know, I know. It sounds a touch gross, but it did in fact work. My computer continued to have heat problems beyond this. Despite many tests and experiments, the pizza rolls were the overall champ in cooling down my beloved iMac. A month later, my machine eventually did bite the dust: hard drive failure. C'est la vie! (And thankful that we moved all projects to DropBox years prior.)

I bring up this example to illustrate a point: Sometimes, you have to solve problems in very unconventional ways. It may not always be the cleanest or most popular solution, but there will always be circumstances at play that may be beyond your control. In my case, I could not properly diagnose my computer at a shop due to deadlines.

Marketers always advocate for KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. This especially applies in problem solving. You don’t always need a fancy app or complex process to figure out what’s wrong. Similarly, while creating campaigns or working through a project, you don’t always have the capability to stop everything that you're doing to properly address a concern. One size does not fit all, and each problem should be approached with a fine-tooth comb.

When the unexpected happens, it teaches you to be a better critical thinker and keeps you on your toes. This goes for everything in life.

So during a meltdown, or even through your next big campaign, consider harnessing the raw power of pizza rolls. The results may surprise you!

Topics: critical thinking, unconventional thinking, pizza rolls, crisis management, problem solving


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