There is a term in Technology consulting that is used when bugs or glitches in a software program disrupts its function and we have to come up with a temporary solution until we can permanently fix the problem. We call it a "work around". Something that can be implemented quickly until a permanent solution can be created. This of course can apply to any field and of course life in general.
I was having lunch with some Japanese friends over the weekend and we were talking about what stops a lot of Japanese initiatives when it comes to the U.S. or when trying to promote Japan as tourist destination for Americans.
They mentioned "Kotoba no mondai" which essentially means language problem or language barrier.
Yes I said, I understand, I have heard it many a time in the course of my work. But should that be the end of it? Is that something that we should let stop us? I asked them to think of " Kotoba no mondai" as the starting point instead of a stopping point.
How, they asked? Well, I said, figure out where to go from that point and see what is possible. What 'work around' can be created? After all it is not just Japanese language that is a barrier to Americans. They still go to Europe in record number and encounter many different languages there. So why should Japan be different?
I threw out some basic ideas off the top of my head on how to get more American tourists into Japan. As I rattled these ideas off, I saw the light dawn in their eyes.
It is often just a new way of looking at something that sparks a solution or "work around". They realized that if they didn't let "Kotoba no mondai" stop them, they could create a way around it.