Outsiders Solve Problems. Just Ask Goats.

Ad Blocker Detected

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

Outsiders Solve Problems. Just Ask Goats.

When it comes to problem-solving, sometimes the answer lies outside of our own knowledge and experience. This is where outsiders can prove to be invaluable. Take, for instance, the story of a farmer who was struggling to figure out why his prized fruit trees were consistently failing to produce. He turned to a group of outsiders for help – a pack of goats – and the results were nothing short of astonishing.

In human society, we often overlook the value of disparate perspectives. We can encounter a problem and immediately turn to the individuals and resources closest at hand, usually those who share our same background and experience. While the “groupthink” approach can bring about quick results, it is not always the best course of action. Sometimes, the most effective solutions require the objective and sometimes unusual insights provided by outsiders.

Goats, for example, are experts in their field – and by “field,” we mean eating a wide variety of vegetation. In the case of the aforementioned fruit farmer, the goats were brought in to eat everything in the orchard, a move that many people would initially consider counterproductive. After all, how can consumption of the very thing one wants to grow actually help the process?

In this instance, the goats’ unique perspective paid off. By devouring every leaf and branch in sight, they actually served to clear out potentially harmful insects and fungal infestations that were damaging the trees. This “pruning” approach to orchard management had previously never been considered by the farmer or his already established network of agricultural professionals.

The lesson here is clear – by seeking out the insights of outsiders, we can obtain a fresh perspective that may just help us perceive our situation in a whole new light.

Take a moment to consider the times in your personal or professional life when you faced a challenge or problem that seemed insurmountable. Did you reach out to the same people that you always do, or did you summon your inner goat and try out an unconventional approach?

It can be a daunting prospect to seek help from individuals outside of your usual circle. There may be a perception that it would be admitting failure on your part, or there may be a certain amount of embarrassment associated with revealing our lack of knowledge. However, this risk can prove to be minimal in comparison to the benefits of opening oneself up to the expertise of others.

To be clear, not all outsiders are created equal. A fresh perspective is not the sole privilege of those who are completely ignorant of your particular situation. Instead, you should seek out experts in their respective fields who may view your issue with a uniquely informed viewpoint.

For example, if you’re struggling with implementing a new software system that has been designed to streamline your company’s workflow, you may initially turn to your in-house IT team for support. However, if the issues persist, it might be time to turn to an outsider who specializes in software design.

This individual could provide alternative solutions that were never even considered by the IT team, as they likely bring their own experiences and perspectives to the table. The key is to understand that the act of bringing in an outsider is not a signal of failure, but instead a deliberate and strategic move.

Of course, there are varying degrees of problems that one might face in their personal or professional life. Perhaps you’re considering expanding your company’s global reach, or you’re frustrated with the lack of diversity in your hiring practices. In cases such as these, it may be beneficial to not only bring in outside perspectives but to engage in “crowd-sourcing” to obtain ideas from multiple stakeholders. This approach can help ensure that various viewpoints are taken into account, and it can also create a sense of inclusivity and team effort.

It is important to note, however, that simply soliciting the opinions of outsiders is not the end-all be-all of effective problem-solving. In order to properly leverage these outside perspectives, it is necessary to have a sense of openness and receptivity. This means truly listening to the insights provided by outsiders, rather than defensively dismissing them out of hand.

In this sense, the process of opening oneself up to outside perspectives is not just about obtaining new information or resources, but also about cultivating an attitude of humility and vulnerability. Only when we let go of the belief that we alone can find the solution to our problems can we truly begin to tap into the vast resources available to us in the form of the perspectives of others.

There is no doubt that the concept of seeking out the insights and perspectives of outsiders can be a difficult one to put into practice. It requires stepping outside of our comfort zones and relinquishing some degree of control. But as the story of the farmer and his goats illustrates, sometimes the most effective solutions come from the most unexpected places. By remaining open to the insights of others, we can achieve more complex, innovative, and impactful solutions to the challenges we face.