Are you an innovative customer whisperer?

CHIP BELL | April 18, 2018

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The owners of a new high-rise office building realized they had a major problem shortly after their grand opening. Tenants were complaining about the long wait for an elevator in the lobby. The building designer had miscalculated the number of people who would be wanting to use the elevators, especially at the start of each work day. The owner needed a resolution, hopefully one that could be implemented with minimal interruption and cost. This is the problem posed by Edward de Bono in his classic book "Lateral Thinking.  How would you solve the building owner’s challenge?" The owner first brought in a structural engineer who studied the situation and concluded the only solutions were to either speed up the existing elevators or add a new elevator — both very pricey approaches. This was unsatisfactory.  he owner then brought in a traffic flow expert who also studied the situation and suggested staggering the starting times for workers in the building, thus spreading out demand for elevators.  This too was an unsatisfactory solution since the building owner had no control over the work schedule of his tenants.

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