Case Study: Lipstick Prints on the Mirror

 

This story happened at a middle school in Oregon (or, maybe, somewhere else):

 

A principal of a small middle school had a problem with a few of the older girls starting to use lipstick. When applying it in the bathroom they would then press their lips to the mirror and leave lip prints.

 

Before it got out of hand, he thought of a way to stop it. He gathered all the girls together that wore lipstick and told them he wanted to meet with them in the ladies’ room at 2pm. They gathered at 2pm and found the principal and the school custodian waiting for them.

 

The principal explained that it was becoming a problem for the custodian to clean the mirror every night.

 

Ladies who don’t understand continue doing the same. They take lecturing as a motivation to do the opposite. They don’t want to obey the rules.

 

In details, read this story in Appendix 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig. 20. Trouble with girls kissing the mirrors

 

The apparent decisions that came to principal’s mind were:

A. Continue cleaning the mirrors in restrooms despite of fashion of kissing the mirrors with lipstick

B. Stop cleaning the mirrors in restrooms due to fashion of kissing the mirrors with lipstick

C. Improve cleanness of Mirrors in restrooms by lecturing the students not to kiss mirrors

 

Principal understood that decision B is not an option: mirrors, as well as all surfaces in facilities, must be clean, period. Window of opportunity for decision A was closed, because cleaning of “kissed” mirrors took the janitor way too long. Principal tried the apparent decision C. The subsequent events demonstrated that window of opportunity for this decision has closed, as well. Girls doubled their efforts instead of obeying the rules.

 

So, the janitor had to seek for unobvious opportunities to solve the problem:

I. Render students obeying the rules despite of the fact that girls take lecturing as a motivation to do the opposite.

II. Comply with low labor consumption for janitors using alternative to lecturing the students not to kiss mirrors.

III. Comply with low labor consumption for janitors, despite of fashion of kissing the mirrors with lipstick.

IV. Render school healthy and safe for schoolchildren using alternative to keeping school facilities clean.

 

Janitor chose the Opportunity I. The story looked like this:

 

Girls listen to the lectures. Their desire to be independent pushes them to do the opposite. When they do the opposite to what the teachers require, they feel themselves free, and thus feel joy. They continue doing what they enjoy to do, and thus do not obey the rules

 

We could present his thinking like follows:

 

  1. Girls do the opposite

    • How to avoid girls doing the opposite? Render girls demotivated to do the opposite

  2. Girls feel themselves free

    • How to avoid girls feeling themselves free? Make so that girls while doing the opposite don’t feel themselves free

  3. Girls feel joy

    • How to avoid girls feeling joy? Render girls feeling bad about doing the opposite

  4. Girls continue doing what they enjoy to do

    • How to avoid girls continuing doing what they enjoyed to do? Render girls unwilling to do what they enjoyed to do before

 

So, finally janitor decided to make girls feeling bad about kissing the mirrors.

 

[Principal] gathered all the girls together that wore lipstick and told them he wanted to meet with them in the ladies’ room at 2pm. They gathered at 2pm and found the principal and the school custodian waiting for them.

The principal explained that it was becoming a problem for the custodian to clean the mirror every night. He said he felt the ladies did not fully understand just how much of a problem it was and he wanted them to witness just how hard it was to clean.

 

The custodian then demonstrated. He took a long brush on a handle out of a box. He then dipped the brush in the nearest toilet, moved to the mirror and proceeded to remove the lipstick.

 

That was the last day the girls pressed their lips on the mirror.

 

Chapter III: Brief Summary

  1. The goal of resolving the Contradiction is to find implementable way to accomplish the Mission.

  2. There are two ways to resolve the Contradiction: use apparent decisions and consider the unobvious opportunities.

  3. Apparent decisions are as follows:

    • A. Continue doing the Intent despite of Circumstance

    • B. Stop doing the Intend due to Circumstance

    • C. Perform the Corrective Action in order to correct influence of Circumstance

  4. Each apparent decision has its own window of opportunity

  5. Unobvious opportunities are as follows:

    • I. Comply with Requirement-2 despite of Obstacle

    • II. Find an alternative Corrective Action

    • III. Comply with Requirement-1 despite of Circumstance

    • IV. Find an alternative Intent

  6. In order to take an unobvious opportunity, one should break the appropriate Link

  7. Each Link could be described as a story consisting of Events

  8. Link could be broken by avoiding any Event (for opportunities I and III) or by finding the alternative way to perform any Event (for opportunities II and IV)

Case Study | "Mission: Impossible": How to Successfully Accomplish ItCHAPTER IV

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Len Kaplan

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Phone:

+1-904-329-0604

 

Email:

kapraz55@gmail.com

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