Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Problem Solving Winnie the Pooh Style with PJ Schott

Good morning Princess with a Pen, friends! It’s the first Wednesday in October and that means the lovely, Pj Schott, is here to dispense her wonderful wisdom with a little help from Winnie the Pooh.    Pj Schott has lived in several U.S. port cities, Europe, Greece, and the Middle East. A marketing professional, mystery writer, and futurist, Pj is known to those with whom she works as a problem-solver, an innovative thinker, a top-notch communicator, a visionary, and the soul of a group. She is the owner of the Boston, Massachusetts based company GENIUS and is the woman behind the new Facebook page and blog, Survival for Blondes, where Pj is entirely surrounded by imagined disasters and learns to rise above.

The World Ends With Pooh

In my eternal quest for Disaster Prep goodies for my Survival for Blondes blog, I keep my radar tuned for tidbits from Winnie the Pooh, since they help me keep everything – the good, the bad, and the ugly – in perspective.

Please allow me to share with you a piece I happened upon recently that described an imagined Pooh/Disaster scenario:

"Fallen tree takes out power pole. Water main burst. Bee hives in fallen tree. Bee keeper must remove bees before tree can be removed, water main repaired and power restored. Phone still out. Pooh Bear bummed."

The World's Best Problem-Solver
Although the claim may have no basis in reality, I call myself "The World's Best Problem Solver."
Quite a few respectable folks have told me that problem-solving is my greatest gift. (Do I have any other talents which would help create a benchmark? Let's not even go there.)

Sherlock Holmes (who preceded me as The World's Best Problem Solver) would probably analyze and evaluate the Pooh dilemma, then try to apply logic. Most likely he would start at the end of the problem and work backwards until he arrived at the solution.

My solution to Pooh's fictional Worst Case Scenario would be to look at the situation, not as a potential problem, but as an opportunity for Pooh to reinvent himself in order to realign with his true path.

Now we pose the critical question: What would Pooh do to solve a problem or to prepare for a disaster – imagined or otherwise – in his beloved Hundred Acre Wood?

Pooh and his friends – Eeyore, Owl, Rabbit, Piglet, and Tigger were always hitting rough spots. And Pooh took them all in stride.

"Prob…lem…sol…ving? That sounds like a 'what.' The 'whats' are easy. It's the 'hows' that are difficult."

The large-hearted, honey-hunting, bee-braving, problem-solving Pooh (who was as Modest as I am Shamelessly Self-Promoting) described himself as a "bear of Very Small Brain." (And Albert Einstein used to say "I have no special talent." Uh huh.) But don't let Pooh's diffidence fool you. The Bear will now show you his Depth.

Pooh, unlike Sherlock Holmes, would no doubt start at the beginning. He would encourage us to look for the solution, but caution us to first correctly define the problem.

"Before beginning a Hunt,
it is wise to ask someone what you are looking for
before you begin looking for it."

They're Funny Things, Accidents
If any of the above has left you with an ice-cream headache, my sincere apology. And to ease your mind, I will leave you with the words of Eeyore:

"I'm not saying there won't be an Accident now, mind you. They're funny things, Accidents. You never have them till you're having them."

Pooh taught me that Problem SoIving (since it's a "what" and not a "how") is easy. And those who work with me – as well as those who know and love me – usually get a very simple solution to their problems. They also get a reminder that, unlike problem-solving itself …


Thank you, Pj!


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