I think this has imbued me with a lifelong appreciation of simple but brilliant ideas. I stumbled upon a GREAT one earlier this month.
For people who need a bone marrow transplant, the chances of finding a donor that’s a match are frighteningly small. The trick to solving this problem, of course, is increasing the pool in the donor registry. Getting millions of people to march into a hospital somewhere to give a blood sample – that’s not easy.
The brilliant but simple solution: Graham Douglas, whose twin brother needed a blood transplant, thought of a way to skip the hard part of a blood donation. He approached a company selling adhesive bandages and asked them to include bone marrow donation registry kits in their packages. So if you’ve unfortunately cut yourself being clumsy in the kitchen, you have a ready-made blood sample! You send it off to the lab using the kit, and then take your adhesive bandage and patch yourself up!
The company Douglas approached was Help. And it’s a brilliant CR move for them – an elegant way to use their existing assets to create societal value.
It’s an inspiring example about the potential for companies to think about their resources differently, and what role they might play in a societal challenge they might not have previously thought about.
What unlikely but simple role could your company’s product play?