In 1974, a Hungarian invented one of the most popular and influential toys of all time, the Rubik’s cube. Considering that I was born well after that time, I can safely say that I cannot remember a time without this toy. Growing up, however, I watched the Rubik’s company try to make toy after toy in some way related to the original, but they always tried new and “innovative” renditions.
Since my family members always knew how big of a Rubik’s cube fan I am, I would get all kinds of these newer toys as birthday and Christmas gifts. While many of them were flashy and initially interesting, I ultimately grew tired of them and would go back to playing with the original. After all, the original was fascinating… captivating even, and I was determined to learn how to solve it.
After spending a considerable amount of time experimenting and playing with my cube, one of the teachers at my elementary school gave me a list of algorithms showing how to manipulate individual squares in very specific ways. The summer after, I accomplished my goal to learn to solve the cube, but I was still hungry for more.
While my first few solves averaged around 10 minutes, I wanted to continue to get better and faster. I studied and fine tuned my process of solving the cube, realizing that at a certain point the design of the cube itself was holding me back. I then looked into what other cubes were out there and how they were designed to be more efficient and effective. These days I solve the cube in under a minute, and the best people in the world can solve it in a matter of seconds.
Constantly evaluating and enhancing processes and expanding resources also holds value when thinking about technology and business. Businesses that are growing very rapidly today focus their time, energy, and resources on making gradual improvements, becoming more resourceful. By learning from this, organizations can ensure that they are effectively working toward their goals, accomplishing more by using the most effective resources to the best of their ability.