Innovative Thinking – Calculate – Blog 083



Calculate is the easiest part of this three part formula.  This is the part where you just kick back and wait for it to happen.


During this time, you will still be Collecting and matching the new information with the information that is already in your subconscious.  It’s like assembling a puzzle.  Your brain keeps the pieces that fit together and sets aside the ones that don’t until the puzzle is complete.


The Calculate phase of this formula has a wide range of time necessary for this puzzle building to happen.  For me, it has happened as quickly as in an instant and sometimes it has taken up to nine months.  Here’s an example of the nine month time frame.


Swimming Pool Aerator

I lived just outside of Phoenix, Arizona on and off for 20 years.  If you’ve ever been to Phoenix, you know you always have to have water nearby.  You need water to drink and to cool off, especially in the summer.  Most people who live there have swimming pools in their backyards.

In most of the country, people want their pools to get warmer earlier in the swim season and stay warmer later in the year, but not in Phoenix.  Every pool has something called Aerators.  They are pipes connected to the return water flow on the swimming pool pumps that when are switched on, spray the water up to 10 feet in the air in a big fan shape.

We turn these aerators on and run our pool pumps at night when the air temperate is cooler, the exchange heat from the pool water into the air to cool the pool.  It’s difficult to believe that an entire in-ground swimming pool could get so warn by the sun that it’s actually uncomfortable to swim in.


Well, one day, the pipe leading to the aerator spray nozzle broke inside the Cool-Deck patio.  Cool-Deck is a type of concrete and texture that is a little bit cooler when you walk on it with bare feet than standard smooth concrete.  It’s also more expensive and difficult the patch because of the texture.


With the broken pipe embedded in the concrete, there was no way around jack-hammering the entire concrete deck, replacing the pipe, re-pouring the concrete deck, and adding the Cool-Deck texture.  It about killed me to jack-hammer out a perfectly good patio for a 99¢ piece of PVC pipe.

So, I thought I’d give my Three C’s a try.  It was the end of the swim season and I had some time before I needed to make a decision.  I looked around on line, I looked at the home improvement centers, I looked at outdoor magazines, but nothing came to mind.


Suddenly, nine months later, Eureka!  I got it!


I realized that if I bought a $3.47 masonry circular saw blade and simply cut the existing expansion joint about a 1/4” wider, I could press a new PVC pipe down into the joint and reconnect the new pipe with the existing pipe in the soil at the back edge of the patio.  All I needed to do then, was to fill the opening with a tube of $4.98 concrete joint filler.

Instead of the project costing me $3,000 and having the concrete texture and color never match, it cost me $8.45 and 30 minutes of my time.


It was a good thing I wasn’t in a rush.  I just put this problem on auto-pilot and waited for the solution.


“Genius is one percent inspiration, and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

-Thomas Edison


Lon Safko
Serial Innovator, Keynote Speaker, Trainer, Innovative Thinking


Tags: innovative thinking, creative, creative thinking, Innovation, critical thinking definition, innovation definition, critical thinking skills, creative process

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