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Problem-Solving with the Wright Brothers

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Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first flight. To commemorate the event a team of engineers, mechanics and pilots will re-enact the first flight in a replica of the Wright brothers' flying machine in Kill Devil Hills, N.C.

Besides pioneering air travel, the Wright brothers' also contributed to the entrepreneurial spirit and the discipline of management, as a recently published book The Wright Way details. Author Mark Eppler distills the brothers' problem-solving skills into seven managerial principles that are still relevant in today's challenging business environment. A few of the principles:

Measure twice: The principle of methodical meticulousness. The fastest and most efficient way to solve a problem is by being meticulous and methodical in your approach.

Tackle the tyrant: The principle of worst things first. When "tyrant" problems are put first, costs for the whole are limited to this subset should a solution prove to be unachievable.

Fiddling: The principle of inveterate tinkering. New approaches can be created by tinkering with portions of a problem in an effort to understand it.

Last updated: Dec 17, 2003




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