Is this guy the most creative employee of all time?
In 2013, a news story broke in America which quickly spread internationally.
A software developer had outsourced his entire job to a consulting company in China for a fraction of his monthly salary.
The employee known only as ‘Bob’ had paid a Chinese software consultancy 20% of his salary to carry out his daily tasks whilst he spent his time doing other things.
According to the UK website The Register, because of his outsourcing a typical workday for Bob was pretty easy and looked like this:
9:00 am – Arrive at work and surf Reddit for a couple of hours. Watch cat videos.
11:30 am – Lunch
1:00 pm – E-bay time
2:00 pm – Facebook updates, LinkedIn
4:30 pm – End-of-day update email to management
5:00 pm – Go home
Unsurprisingly, when his employer discovered what he’d been up to, he was fired.
Contrast this with the story of an Italian worker who many years previously was caught leaving the Olivetti factory with a bag full of pieces of machinery.
His colleagues reported him for stealing but the CEO took a different approach.
He asked him why he had taken the tools home and the employee explained that it was so he could continue to work on the project over the weekend.
Intrigued, the CEO asked for more details and the employee explained that it was an idea he had for a ‘calculating machine.’
The CEO loved it so much that he made the project official and put him in charge.
Not long after, Olivetti’s new electrical calculating machine was released onto the market.
The new machine was called the Divisumma and was the first of its type. In the 1950s and 1960s it became a globally popular product and highly lucrative for the company.
Whilst the story the US worker is an extreme example, it nevertheless illustrates the point that creativity is often viewed as a rebellious act.
Perhaps a smarter move on his company’s behalf would have been to ask him how they could outsource more of their work, or perhaps challenge him with coming up with other creative ways to improve the organisation efficiency other than outsourcing his day job?
If you are interested in learning more about how creativity can help you and your company then check out our Creativity for Business course.
It’s packed full of helpful case studies and practical tools you can start using straight away.