PROBLEM SOLVING AND DECISION MAKING: The New Shoes
Once a man needed a new pair of shoes. This man was very good at math. He knew that in order to get shoes that fit correctly, it would be necessary to measure his shoe size properly.
The man knew how to measure very accurately. He also knew how to draw diagrams that were very accurate. So, before he went to the marketplace, he drew a very detailed picture of his feet on a piece of paper. He carefully measured his feet, and he wrote the exact dimensions of each foot on the diagrams. Then before leaving the house, like a good mathematician, he rechecked his figures.
It was a very long way from the man’s home to the market where he intended to buy the shoes. It was past mid-day when the man arrived at the market. When he reached the stall where shoes were being sold, the man realized that he had forgotten to bring the paper that he had so carefully written his measurements on. He turned around and walked all the way back home to get it.
It was nearly sunset when the man arrived back at the market. There he found the market was closing, and the shoemaker had packed up all of his shoes to take them home.
“Foolish man,” the shoemaker told the man when he was asked to unpack his wares to make a sale. Why did you not just try on the shoes in my store? Why did you need to go home and get your diagrams?”
The man hung his head shamefully. “I guessed I only believed there was one way to solve my problem. I should have thought to check with others for another solution that might have worked as well or better than my own.”
Source of Story – Story Arts Online by Heather Forest sites the original source to be Han Fei.
In our rapidly changing world that is so filled with problems, we need divergent thinkers who can work together finding many possible solutions to today’s problems. There is no just one way to solve a problem.
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