I walk one mile south, one mile west, and one mile north.  I am now back where I started.  Where on Earth am I?

That riddle is known to be a favorite of Elon Musk’s; the Tesla CEO is said to ask it during interviews.  As you might have guess, this entry’s topic is “riddles”.

A riddle is a logic problem, often forcing the answerer to think unconventionally.  A riddle, as it happens, is also very important to business.  A good riddle can represent real-life problems that need to be addressed, and a practiced riddle solver may be more capable of solving real-world problems as a result.  It’s important to maintain mental acuity in every aspect of life and, from the plant to the board room, unconventional problem solving is key.  The logic that we learn from riddle solving often has practical uses in life.

Every time you juggle maintenance vs. operation time, employees in dispute, material suppliers, you solve a real life riddle.  This could be an amazing thing, if we change our approach.  Life and business obstacles can go from stress-inducing minefields to mental playgrounds.  Work doesn’t often offer entertainment but maybe just this once, it can.  Next time you find a conundrum in your workplace, try not to let it get you stressed.  Think of it as a puzzle, a game.  Change your thinking, work outside the box, and maybe just enjoy the challenge.  If not, you can always play Sudoku when you go on break.

The answer, should you not have gotten it yet, is below

You start from the North Pole.


You find a location on the South Pole that is a fraction of a mile around (1/3, 1/2, 1/4, etc, or a full mile.)  Start one mile up from there.

From either starting point, following the original directions, you’ll return to the starting point.

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