In 1986 worked for a few weeks for Rocket Research proposal for the midget man program in partners with Martin Marietta. I was just trying to control the steering jets. The staff engineer at RR told me I came up with the first innovation he had seen in 20 years of rockets. It looked to me like those people were still doing what they did to get the side thrusters on the moon landings.
All I did was come up with a way of getting the valve to turn on in the same amount of time every time, independent of Voltage regulation. Those people were stuck.
An excellent book on the subject is "How the mind works" by Steven Pinker.
90% of my consulting calls are when an engineering department is stuck, they call me, and the following happens; I listen to them, I tell them what is happening and what we are going to do to fix it. We start working. They say, "If we can do that, then we could have done X". We do X and their problems are over. Fully 90% of the time my technical contribution is not used. They solve their own problem. All I am is a laxative for stuck engineers. But I still invoice and get paid.
No one changes the way they look at things if they don't have to. Even if it is painful, often they will not let go. That book explains how decisions are made in the human brain.
Last edited by Clark; 01-22-2012 at 02:41 PM.