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1  We often face great challenges in our daily lives. Do you tackle them head on, or do you run away? What should we do to overcome such challenges? Tina Seelig, a professor at Stanford University, gives her students difficult assignments in her class. Let us have a look at one of them.

 

2  What would you do if you had two hours to invest five dollars? In an experiment, teams received an envelope with five dollars and were told they could spend as much time as they wanted planning. However, once they opened the envelope, they had two hours to generate as much money as possible. She gave them from Wednesday afternoon until Sunday evening to complete the assignment. Then, on Monday afternoon each team had three minutes to present their plans to the class. They were encouraged to be entrepreneurial by identifying opportunities, challenging assumptions, leveraging the limited resources they had, and by being creative.

 

3  What would you do if you were faced with this challenge? Would you go to Las Vegas, or would you buy a lottery ticket? There may be significant risk with a small chance of winning. Another idea is to set up a car wash or lemonade stand, using the five dollars to purchase the start-up materials. But most of her students eventually found a way to go far beyond the standard responses. They seriously challenged traditional assumptions―exposing a wealth of possibilities―in order to create as much value as possible.

 

4  How did they do this? The teams that made the most money did not use the five dollars at all. They realized that focusing on the money actually created boundaries to their imagination. They understood that five dollars is essentially nothing and decided to reinterpret the problem. They asked themselves, “What can we do to make money if we start with absolutely nothing?” They ramped up their observation skills, tapped into their talents, and unlocked their creativity to identify problems in their midst―problems they might have experienced or noticed others experiencing―problems they might have seen before but had never thought to solve. These problems were annoying but not necessarily at the forefront of anyone’s mind. By unearthing these problems and then working to solve them, the winning teams brought in over 600 dollars, and the average return on the five-dollar investment was 4,000 percent! If you take into account that many of the teams did not use the funds at all, then their financial returns were infinite.

 

5  So what did they do? All of the teams were remarkably inventive. One group identified a problem common in a lot of towns―the frustratingly long lines at popular restaurants on Saturday night. The team decided to help those people who did not want to wait in line. They paired off and booked reservations, and they sold each reservation for up to twenty dollars to customers who were happy to avoid a long wait.

 

6  As the evening passed, they made several interesting observations. First, they realized that the female students were better at selling the reservations, probably because customers were more comfortable being approached by young women. They adjusted their plan so that the male students ran around town making reservations at different restaurants while the female students sold these places in line. They also learned that the entire operation worked best at restaurants that use vibrating pagers to alert customers when their table is ready. Physically swapping pagers made customers feel as though they were receiving something tangible for their money. They were more comfortable handing over their money and pager in exchange for the new pager. This had an additional bonus―teams could then sell the newly acquired pager as the later reservation time grew nearer.

 

7  Each team brought in a few hundred dollars. However, the team that generated the greatest profit looked at the resources through a completely different lens and made 650 dollars. These students determined that the most valuable asset was neither the five dollars nor the two hours. Instead, their insight was that their most precious resource was their three-minute presentation time on Monday. They decided to sell it to a company that wanted to recruit the students in the class. The team created a three-minute “commercial” for that company and showed it to the students during the class. This was brilliant. They recognized that they had a fabulously valuable asset―that others did not even notice―just waiting to be uncovered.

 

8  Were all teams successful? Unfortunately, no. One team actually lost money when the students purchased umbrellas to sell in San Francisco on a rainy day, only to have the weather clear up shortly after they launched their effort. And yes, one team ran a car wash, and another started a lemonade stand, but their returns were much lower than average.

 

9  Tina counts the “Five-Dollar Challenge” as a success in teaching students about having an entrepreneurial mindset. But it left her feeling a bit uncomfortable. She did not want to communicate that value is always measured in terms of financial rewards. So, over the years, she has added a twist every time she assigns the project. For example, she gives groups similar assignments but changes the starting material from paper clips to sticky notes, or rubber bands, or water bottles. The overarching goal is to demonstrate that all problems can be viewed as opportunities for creative solutions.

 

10  We can challenge ourselves every single day. That is, we can choose to view the world with a different lens―a lens that allows us to see problems in a new light. The more we take on problems, the more confident and proficient we become at solving them. And the better able we are to see them as opportunities.

 

 

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Comprehension

  1. What is the main idea of the text?
  2. Having an entrepreneurial mindset will allow us to see the world in a new light.
  3. Good observation skills are necessary when we try to free ourselves from the standard responses.
  4. It is possible to view problems as opportunities for creative solutions by challenging traditional assumptions.

 

  1. Complete the following table using the words in the box. Change the form of the words if necessary.

1, 2 The (1.     ) Tina Seelig gave her Stanford students was to find a creative way to generate the largest possible profit by using five dollars within two hours.

3, 4 Most of her students challenged traditional (2.     ), and reinterpreted the problem using their observation skills, talents, and creativity.

5, 6 One team that sold (3.     ) at popular restaurants to customers waiting in line adjusted their plan by making some interesting observations.

7, 8 The winning team generated the greatest profit by selling their (4.     ) time to a company that wanted to recruit the students, but some other teams were not very successful.

9, 10 The goal of Tina’s project is to demonstrate that all problems can be viewed as (5.     ) for creative solutions.

 

assignment  assumption  opportunity  presentation  reservation

 

 

  1. Write T for true or F for false for each statement.
  2. The team that did not use the funds at all actually made the greatest profit. (   )
  3. The average financial return on the five-dollar investment was two hundred dollars. (   )
  4. One group that identified the problem of a long wait solved the problem by using vibrating pagers. (   )
  5. The most successful team sold their presentation time to a company that wanted to recruit the students. (   )
  6. Tina wants to communicate that value should always be measured in terms of something other than money. (   )
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和訳

従来の仮説に新しい光を当てると…

 

[1]  私たちは日々の生活の中でしばしば大きな難題に直面する。あなたはそれらに正面から取り組むだろうか,それとも逃げ出すだろうか。そのような難題を克服するには何をすべきだろうか。スタンフォード大学の教授ティーナ・スィーリグは,授業で学生たちに難しい課題を与える。それらのうちの1つを見てみよう。

 

[2]  もし2時間あって5ドルを投資するとしたら,あなたは何をするだろうか。ある実験で,チームは5ドルの入った封筒を受け取り,計画を立てるのに彼らが必要なだけの時間を使うことができると伝えられた。しかし一度その封筒を開けたら,彼らは2時間でできるだけたくさんの金を生み出すのだ。その課題を仕上げるのに,彼女は彼らに水曜日の午後から日曜日の晩までを与えた。次に,月曜日の午後に各チームは自分たちの計画を3分間でクラスに発表するのだ。彼らは,好機を見極め,思い込みを疑い,持っている限られた資源を活用し,そして独創的であることで,起業家的になるよう励まされた。

 

[3]  あなたがこの難題に直面したら,どうするだろうか。ラスベガスへ行くだろうか,それとも宝くじを買うだろうか。勝利の可能性が小さく,重大な損失があるかもしれない。もう1つの考えは,その5ドルを立ち上げの用具を買うのに使って,洗車かレモネードの屋台を始めることだ。しかし,彼女の学生たちのほとんどは結局,標準的な答えをはるかに超える方法を見つけた。彼らはできるだけたくさんの価値を生み出すために,多くの可能性を示しながら,従来の思い込みを真剣に疑った。

 

[4]  彼らはこれをどのように行ったのだろうか。最も多く金を稼いだチームは,その5ドルをまったく使わなかった。彼らはその金に焦点を合わせると,実際に自分たちの想像力に限界が生じることに気づいたのだった。彼らは5ドルが本質的に無だということを理解して,その問題を再解釈することに決めた。彼らは「もしまったく何もない状態で始めるなら,金を稼ぐために何ができるだろうか」と自問した。彼らは自分たちの中での問題を見極めるために,観察の技術を高めて,才能を活用し,創造力を解き放った。(その)問題とは彼らが経験したか,他人が経験しているのに気づいたかもしれない問題のことであり,以前遭遇したかもしれないが決して解決しようと思わなかった問題のことである。これらの問題はイライラさせられるが,必ずしも誰かの心の中心にあったわけではなかった。これらの問題を明らかにし,それらを解決するために努力することによって,勝利チームは600ドル以上を稼ぎ,5ドルの投資の平均の利益(率)は4,000パーセントだった! もしチームの多くがその資金をまったく使わなかったことを考慮に入れるなら,彼らの投資利益(率)は無限大になった。

 

[5]  では,彼らは何をしたか。チームのすべてが著しく創意に富んでいた。あるグループは多くの町のよくある問題―土曜日の夜の人気レストランでの苛立たしいほどに長い行列という問題を突き止めた。そのチームは行列で待ちたくない人々を手助けすることに決めた。彼らはペアになって予約を取り,長く待つことを避けられてうれしい客に,それぞれの予約を最高20ドルで売った。

 

[6]  夜が経過するにつれて,彼らはいくつかの興味深い観察をした。まず第1に,おそらく客が若い女性が近づいてくる方がより安心できるという理由から,女子学生のほうが予約を売るのがうまくいくことに気づいた。彼らは,女子学生が行列の中の(予約の順番待ちの)場所を売っている間に,男子学生が町中を走り回っていろいろなレストランの予約を取るように計画を調整した。彼らはまた,テーブルの準備ができたときに客に通報するために振動するポケットベル(呼び出し装置)を利用するレストランで,全体の作業が最もうまくいくことを知った。物理的にポケットベルを交換することで,客はまるで自分の金と引き換えに何か実体のあるものを受け取っているかのように感じたのだ。客は新しいポケットベルと引き換えに代金と自分のポケベルを手渡すほうが,より安心できるのだ。これには追加のおまけがついた。チームは新しく手に入れたポケットベルを,それの遅い予約時間が近づくにつれて(次の客に)売ることができたのだ。

 

[7]  各チームは2~300ドルずつ稼いだ。しかし最大の利益を生んだチームは,(彼らの持つ)資源を完全に異なるレンズを通して見て,650ドルを稼いだ。これらの学生たちは,最も価値のあるものは5ドルでも2時間でもないと判断した。そういったことではなくて,彼らの洞察は,最も貴重な資源は月曜日の3分間のプレゼンテーションの時間であるというものだった。彼らはそれをクラスの学生を採用したい会社に売ることに決めた。そのチームはその会社のために3分間の「コマーシャル」を創作して,それを授業中に学生たちに見せた。これは素晴らしかった。彼らは信じられないくらい価値のある資源を所有していることを認識した。他のチームはそれに気づいてさえもいないのだが,その宝は発掘されるのをただ待っているだけなのだ。

 

[8]  すべてのチームが成功したのだろうか。残念ながら,ノーである。あるチームは雨の日のサンフランシスコで売る傘を買ったが,その取り組みを始めてまもなく天気が晴れてしまったので,実際には損をした。そしてそう,あるチームは洗車を経営し,別のチームはレモネードの屋台を始めたが,利益は平均よりずっと低いものだった。

 

[9]  ティーナは「5ドルの難題」を,学生に起業家的な物の見方をすることを教える点では成功だと考えている。しかし,それは彼女を少し後味の悪い気分にしたのだった。彼女は,価値が常に金銭的な報酬の観点から評価されるということを伝えたいのではなかった。それで何年にもわたって,彼女はその学習課題を出すたびにひねりを加えてきた。例えば,グループに同様の課題を与えるのだが,始める材料を紙ばさみから付箋紙や輪ゴムや水筒に変える。何より大切な目標は,すべての問題は創造的な解決のための好機と見なせることを実証することなのだ。

 

[10] 私たちは毎日毎日自分に挑戦することができる。つまり,私たちは世界を,異なったレンズ―私たちが問題を新しい観点で考えることを可能にさせるレンズ―を使って見ることを選択することができる。多くの問題を引き受ければ引き受けるほど,私たちは問題を解決することに自信を持ち熟練していく。それで問題を好機と考えることがますますできるようになるのである。

解答例

Comprehension

  1. What is the main idea of the text?
  2. Having an entrepreneurial mindset will allow us to see the world in a new light.
  3. Good observation skills are necessary when we try to free ourselves from the standard responses.
  4. It is possible to view problems as opportunities for creative solutions by challenging traditional assumptions.

 

  1. Complete the following table using the words in the box. Change the form of the words if necessary.

1, 2 The (1. assignment ) Tina Seelig gave her Stanford students was to find a creative way to generate the largest possible profit by using five dollars within two hours.

3, 4 Most of her students challenged traditional (2. assumptions ), and reinterpreted the problem using their observation skills, talents, and creativity.

5, 6 One team that sold (3. reservations ) at popular restaurants to customers waiting in line adjusted their plan by making some interesting observations.

7, 8 The winning team generated the greatest profit by selling their (4. presentation ) time to a company that wanted to recruit the students, but some other teams were not very successful.

9, 10 The goal of Tina’s project is to demonstrate that all problems can be viewed as (5.   opportunities ) for creative solutions.

 

assignment  assumption  opportunity  presentation  reservation

 

 

  1. Write T for true or F for false for each statement.
  2. The team that did not use the funds at all actually made the greatest profit. ( T )
  3. The average financial return on the five-dollar investment was two hundred dollars. ( T )
  4. One group that identified the problem of a long wait solved the problem by using vibrating pagers. ( F )
  5. The most successful team sold their presentation time to a company that wanted to recruit the students. ( T )
  6. Tina wants to communicate that value should always be measured in terms of something other than money. ( F )
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