Changing the way things have always been done with a banana

I was watching this video on youtube the other day and it made me think about problem solving at work.

For a start, I’ll admit I really really love bananas. I mean- I love them on cereal, in smoothies, on toast with peanut butter, in pancakes- pretty much anywhere. When I got to Thailand I must eat at least two a day.


It’s like they are my secret power food because they give you a sustained and substantial boost of energy.

They are also good for:

High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia (women- this means you!)

Blood Pressure
This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt making it the perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power
200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

High in fibre, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain trypotophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

One of the quickest ways of curing lethargy and fatigue is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey.
The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body so if you suffer from heart-burn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Weight Control
Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs.
The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body’s water-balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, there by reducing our potassium levels. These can be re-balanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack. (Source).

Wow- they are amazing- is there anything they can’t do??

Well that isn’t why I am talking about them actually. For those of you who can’t view the youtube video, it features a boy who has been struggling his whole life when opening a banana (the thing that makes this video full of awesome is that it combines my love of bananas with my boy’s love of monkeys!). Sounds a bit lame, but when you watch it- I’m sure you will have opened a banana in exactly the same way. So we as humans have been opening bananas in the same way (from the top) because that’s the way its always been done.

A friend then suggested to this guy that he should open his banana like a monkey (from the bottom) and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is. How many times in life are we faced with problems and when we try something different and find the solution- we wonder why we never found this simple solution before?

And what stops us from finding these simple solutions? Thinking in exactly the same way that we have in the past. We absolutely have to try new things and think differently if we are hoping for a different outcome (i.e. solution to the problem).

Innovation is something I try to focus on in my work and I try to look at every task with a fresh set of eyes. Challenge what you are doing in HR each and every day- don’t settle for the ‘that’s how things are’ approach.


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