• Developing creative approaches to fulfill the needs of others
  • Striving to succeed and staying positive even when encountering resistance
  • Searching for a resolution to satisfy the needs and requirements of all parties

Have you ever run into a problem that resulted in a solution that was overly complex or worse, created an additional problem? I have more times than I can count. Growing up I was a dangerous mix of creativity and problem-solving that usually led to unnecessarily complex solutions and theories that usually could have been fixed or answered if I simply asked my parents.

It was during these formative years that my mother taught me about Occam’s Razor in her own special way. In short, the principle could be summarized with "other things being equal, simpler explanations are generally better than more complex ones". For example, a child could tell you the broken vase could have been caused by a rogue group of leprechauns that broke into the house and engaged in a rough game of indoor football, but as a parent, you would recognize the broken vase and your child’s football  in the same pile on the floor and conclude that the more likely (less complex) theory that your child broke the vase is the one that needs to be investigated.
I was not supposed to write this blog, but the circumstances that led to it was a good example of being solution-minded and arriving at a solution that was no more complex than necessary. My colleague’s bandwidth was tapped and this was sitting in their to-do pile. Now, they could have sought to complete this project along with their other work by making things unnecessarily complex. They could have stayed until 9:00pm last night to do it. They could have plagiarized something they found online. They could have come with a story to our communications department about a rogue group of leprechauns that broke into the office and deleted their saved blog from their computer to get an extension. These may have led to them completing the blog, but at what cost or unnecessary complexity? Instead, they asked me if I could take 10 min out of my day and type something up. I had bandwidth, I like to write, and it needed to be done. My colleague, though they didn’t have time to write this blog, provided the material needed, and found a simple solution that satisfied the needs of all parties. They may have not written about being solution-minded, but they demonstrated it.
This worked because of the service philosophy at Funds For Learning. Our service is built on a team approach. Our team consists of approximately 30 staff members with over 260 years of combined E-rate experience. Most of our staff is interchangeable on many E-rate matters (including blog writing), so it is not uncommon for different staff members to help guide stakeholders through the E-rate process. In this case, I was interchangeable and the simple response to my colleagues solution-mindedness.
The next time you are faced with a problem, remember that the most simplistic solution is often the right one, find a resolution that satisfies the needs of all parties, and stay clear of rogue leprechauns.  


Key Words and Phrases:
Strive for an answer; Find a new way; Seek a resolution; Persevere; Solve a problem; Deliver the results; Don’t stop at the first hurdle; Address the need.

Opposite Terms:
Close-minded; Decline; Reject; Refuse.

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