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Handily Making Sanitizer More Accessible

If you have heard of Ignaz Semmelweis, then you know the tragic story of the doctor who championed hand disinfection—only to be rejected by the medical community and committed to an asylum. That was in the mid-1800s. We have come a long way to hand sanitization being the norm. But it is still a hassle. To address this contradiction, a company called PullClean invented a door handle, with a built-in dispenser for hand sanitizer.

This paradigm-breaking idea is one way to address the barriers people have to sanitizing their hands—time loss and inconvenience. Of course, getting this job done is important for hospitals and patients and there have been many efforts to effect change, such as reminding people of the consequences of not sanitizing their hands. But such push-mechanisms aren’t nearly as effective as removing the barriers. By focusing on the barrier itself—and not the human who has to overcome it—this team was able to come up with a better solution. They did what all great inventors do: see a problem around them and not accept the current solution.

If we look at the Job To Be Done—“sanitize my hands”—this presents one solution but certainly not the only one. What other solutions might still exist? With product life cycles diminishing rapidly, it’s unlikely the incumbent leaders in your business will sustain their leadership position for long. Companies need to continuously look for ways to innovate—even when it comes to possibly mundane activities. After all, those innovations could end up saving lives.