For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
– H. L. Mencken
There is an amusing and inspiring steamship story that is often told in trainings or workshops, it goes something like this.
In the days of the old steamships a passenger liner broke down just before the entrance to New York harbour.
The ship was helpless, there was nothing the ship’s engineer or crew could do. The liner lay dead in the water unable to make any headway.
The captain radioed the harbour asking them to send their most skilful engineer to solve the problem.
The engineer rode a pilot-boat to the crippled liner, where the captain showed him to the engine room.
To the captain’s surprise the engineer just wandered about. He walked around the engine room, putting his hand on the miles of piping and his ear to junctions and valves. He looked into the boilers and over the towering engine.
By now the captain was beginning to get impatient. “When is this man actually going to DO something?” he thought.
After half an hour of wandering around the engineer just scratched his chin, nodded to himself and asked for a hammer.