Creativity works better in the fertile soil of an open mind and even better when you surround yourself with others so inclined. Sometimes our mind and imagination is open and sometimes it’s not. When you’re stuck, it helps to have people around you that you’ve recruited, retained, and encouraged to bring new and different ideas and perspectives from your own. Below is an often used question, the sort of one you might be challenged with in a job interview. How would you do?
A company was hiring new staff and offered applicants a written exam. One question was:
You are driving your car in a wild stormy night. You pass by a bus
station, and you see three people waiting for the bus: –
An old lady who looks as if she is about to die,
A doctor who had once saved your life,
A man/woman you have been dreaming to be with.
You can only take one passenger in your car. Which one will you
Please explain your answer.
Pause and think for a moment. There may not be any correct or incorrect answer, but there are more creative answers than others that better resolve the situation. Could I have come up with the best answer. In this case, I did not and that is why bringing different skill sets and backgrounds to the decision table in a collaborative is something more organizations should be doing.
1. You could pick up the old lady. She is going to die, and thus you should save her first.
2. You could take the doctor, because he once saved your life. This will be the perfect chance to pay him back.
3. Remember, you could always pay the doctor back in the future, but you may never be able to find the perfect lover once you pass this chance.
The candidate who was eventually hired did not have to explain their answer. WHAT DID HE SAY?
The person simply answered: “Give the car keys to the doctor. Let him drive the old lady to the hospital. I will stay and wait for the bus with the man/woman of my dreams.” The person didn’t even have to explain their answer.
Sounds to me like everyone wins with that approach. (The person who submitted the solution was the only one of about 200 who answered that way Sometimes, we would gain more in the way of creativity if we were able to let go of our limited perspectives and beliefs, open ourselves up to new ways of thinking, and invite others to help us in an intellectually safe environment.