Kiwis pride themselves on their No 8 wire mentality. Te Ara – the online Encyclopedia of New Zealand describes this phenomenon thus:”The tradition of Kiwi ingenuity is often known as the ‘no. 8 wire’ attitude, a reference to a gauge of fencing wire that has been adapted for countless other uses in New Zealand farms, factories and homes.” It seems we are not the only people with a sense for unconventional solutions. A little while ago I commended one of our team members on her ability to come up with innovative work place solutions. Her response was: “Hans, where I come from the whole country is a master of innovation – and improvisation. We call it Jugaad.”
Well, the country in question is India and the photo on this page is probably one of the more graphic examples of how our Indian friends go about finding solutions to problems. A quick search of Google Scholar produces 691 results for Jugaad management. Jugaad holds the same fascination for me as the Dabbawala concept, which is all about lunch boxes in Mumbai finding their way without apparent rhyme or reason from suburban kitchens to their recipients and back again, at an error rate of 1 per 16 million end deliveries. The Six Sigma Dabbawala clip on YouTube will explain more.
Where he is going with this, you may ask. Well, our government seems to be very keen to conclude a Free Trade Agreement with India and direct travel between New Zealand and India appears to be just around the corner. I just cannot understand why the Indian Government Minister signing that air services agreement recently was their Minister of Agriculture. Either another example of Jugaad or it is a subtle way of telling us to expect a whole lot more produce hopping onto those planes and coming here.