The Pumpkin Cut

Each Halloween we all rush to the pumpkin patch, pick out the best one we can find, and eagerly carve that beauty as soon as we can. And we always do it the same way. We cut the lid off the top, scoop out the filling (making a huge mess), and burn ourselves as we try to place the lit candle down the hole.

Why?

We do this, like many things, because it is conventional wisdom. We learned it that way and assume it is the “right” way to carve a pumpkin. We don’t challenge this assumption. We don’t explore the possibility of a better way. We don’t use creativity on the carving process, we just following historical patterns.

Here’s a shocker: Why not carve it from the bottom? Carve a hole in the bottom, and the “mess” comes out easily. You now get to enjoy an original design feature of the pumpkin – the handle on top. Place the candle on the base, light it, and then position the rest of the pumpkin easily over the top. If you stop to think about it, this is an ideal way to complete the task.

The problem is…we don’t stop to think about it. In our business lives, we follow routine with blinders on, refusing to challenge conventional thinking. We assume the status quo to be correct, and in doing so miss the opportunity to use our creativity to drive improvement.

Today, try really opening your eyes wide and look for the “pumpkins” in your organization. I have a hunch you’ll find many fresh opportunities… and find a better way to carve them.