Creative Thinking

This morning I came across this beautiful management story on the power of creative thinking.

The Chairman of a company was once holding a weekly meeting with his staff, when a worker raised a peculiar issue of toilets. He complained that the quality and hygiene of toilets for workers were very bad, whereas the executive toilets were always in a very good and clean condition.

The Chairman asked his top executive how much time he would need to set it right. The executive asked for a month. The Chairman said, “I would rather do it in a day. Send me a carpenter.”

Next day, when the carpenter came, he ordered the sign boards to be swapped. The sign boards on the workers’ toilets displayed *Executives* and the Executives’ toilets displayed *Workers.*

The Chairman then also instructed to change these sign boards every fortnight. In the next three days, the quality of both the toilets became equal.

This is not a story, but a true incident, pertaining to Mr Russi Mody, who was the Chairman of Tata Steel at Jamshedpur from 1984-1993.

Tata Steel is one of the companies of the Tata Group, an Indian multinational conglomerate headquartered in Mumbai (Estt in 1868) with products and services in over 150 countries across six continents.

There are problems that we come across every day, but how we respond to those problems is what directs our paths ahead. Problem identification requires critical thinking, but solving a problem requires creative or lateral thinking.

But out of the box thinking is not so easy. That’s why Henry Ford, the man who founded Ford Motor Company once said:

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”

It reminds me of a Chairman, who wanted to discuss the features of a new product his company was about to launch. He called a meeting of all functional heads to discuss strategy.

He gave a power point presentation with SWOT analysis. He then asked for suggestions and ideas, but all of them concurred with the Chairman, appreciating his initiative.

The Chairman said, “You people have not come prepared. I’ll call the next meeting tomorrow to discuss the product.” And he cancelled the meeting.

A brainstorming session is nowadays arranged to suggest as many ideas as possible in a short time for a future activity or for solving a problem, before considering some of them more carefully.

There are four principles of brainstorming to unlock creativity by collaboration:
*Quantity over quality.
*Withhold criticism.
*Welcome the crazy ideas.
*Combine, refine, and improve ideas.

So let’s come together as a team and think, think and rethink to generate exciting new ideas for a better future.

–Kaushal Kishore

images: pinterest



  1. Ha! I felt the corner of my mouth rise a little as I read about the signs being swapped. Very clever and ingenious on the part of the Chairman. He used his head as well as his heart. I don’t believe we can think creatively without using both vital organs in sync. A wonder write, KK! 🕊️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re absolutely right, Nancy, creativity comes only after we put head and heart together. I’m happy that you liked the post. Thanks a lot for your beautiful reflections 😊


  2. Thank you, Kaushal, for raising an important topic that affects all our lives.
    I think that an excellent illustration of creative thinking was in one of my very
    favorite films, “Big”. It was a story of a teenage boy transformed by magic into a grown-up young man but with his mind not affected by age, and full of enthusiasm and thinking outside a box which makes his boss in the company he found a job with, greatly impressed. I was impressed too, and I watch this film regularly.
    I love your examples of bosses who knew how to inspire their employees.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joanna, for your kind words! What you have said about the film, “Big”, I don’t know whether I had seen it or read somewhere, but the story seems familiar to me. Some similar stories I had read during my childhood also, but you’re right, these are the stories that we like to watch/ read again and again. Thanks again!


      1. The film “Big” with Tom Hanks, is not for children, although they would love it too.
        If you have a chance get a DVD as it is wonderful beyond description, and you could use it in your writing.


        Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the story, Kaushal. The brainstorming guidelines are also very good. One thing the military often does is have the junior person speak first and then in reverse order of seniority so that rank won’t influence anyone’s ideas or suggestions.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Excellent post, dear KK! Thank you for this brilliant reminder. I love how you ended it and your perspective on the power of brainstorming. I often wonder how you come up with masterpiece after masterpiece, and in reading this I realized you probably have amazing brainstorming sessions 😉🤗🤍

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Grace, for your generous comment that I always cherish. In fact, it’s an honour for me. You’re right, I was a management student, and in my professional life, I have extensively used those management techniques. 😊🤗❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Brainstorming can generate so many ideas…wild and crazy concepts could be the seed for the development of a new success! (perfect timing as well…as we have a staff meeting tonight at work!) Thanks, KK! 💞💞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re absolutely right, the idea is to generate as many ideas as possible. Glad you’re having a staff meeting. Have a nice time. All the best 👍💞💞

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s