I wrote an article on my old company blog (long gone into oblivion) about an umbrella and a gentleman walking the street. I thought I would like to cover it again as I liked the story because it was quite unusual what he was doing and it just hit a light bulb moment for me.

The good news it’s just a relevant now as it was then, so I want to recant the story to get you thinking as well.

That day had suggested that it would rain and many people were prepared, wearing waterproof coats or jackets and some were carrying umbrella’s.  As I was driving home, when I saw this gentleman walking down the street and something struck me that something as not quite right.

There seemed to be stripe down the back of his coat.

As I got closer, the stripe had become an umbrella! He had hooked the handle onto the collar of his coat!

Initially, I thought that must be uncomfortable and ever so strange a thing to do. Then I started to think about it and why would you do something like this?

What benefits would this provide for you?

Well it left his hands free! He was walking down the street with his hand behind his back, leaving them free to carry things, text to his friends?

Probably not the later, he looked slightly older generation who wouldn’t try walking down the street eyes glued to the screen, thumbs tapping away, avoiding passers by!rainy day

Anyhow, it wasn’t the use of the free hands that struck me nor that he had the umbrella hanging from his collar, it was how this man had worked out how to make his life easier. He had an idea on how he could carry the umbrella and keep his hands free, and also ensured, if it was going to rain he had it covered!

However, the best bit I loved about the umbrella, was it was simple.  Nothing elaborate, no gadget, he used existing tools (the handle) and made it work for him. He hadn’t to create anything new.

It’s amazing how we as a species are always looking for ways to make our lives easier or do things more efficiently.  From the first time we worked out tools could help us provide food, we just keep on thinking how can make our lives easier and therefore better.

That is what I love to do as well, how can I find ways to make my business easier to manage. Ways to save me time to do tasks, allow me time to create products or ideas.  Yet it has to be simple as its meant to save us time and not make it difficult. I should use what I have already – how can I do that?

I love the umbrella story how it triggered a a simple idea from what he had.

When was the last time you had an idea that was simple and used a tool you already had?

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