Sometimes, all it takes to change the world is looking at how things are done a little differently.

On this day 109 years ago, a man who was making cars in Detroit did just that.

Prior to releasing his newest creation, this man had been wishing he could sell more cars. At that time, cars were so expensive to make very few people owned one. It took too long for one person to slowly build the car piece by piece, and it was hard to pay that person enough to make him keep working.

At the same time, this man had a friend who owned a meat-packing plant. At the plant, he saw how the meat would travel down a conveyor belt and each person who worked at the plant had one job to do before the meat would travel to the next station.

This was called the assembly-line.

What Henry Ford realized before anyone else could was that this same process used in this one industry could be used in other industries, like his own.

By putting the assembly-line concept in place in his own factory, Ford produced the first affordable car, the Model T, by using an assembly-line approach to build cars faster and with more consistency. What used to take a month or more now only took a few days at first, and slowly increased in speed.

The world changed with the advent of affordable, long-distance transportation. More than half of the cars on American roads in 1922 were Model Ts,

But perhaps an even greater world-changing event was that Ford made the rest of the world aware of how assembly-lines could be applied to many of the processes we do to make our world work.

Before long, entire industries were transformed, cities grew by leaps and bounds, and the world was a different place than it had been in the 1800s.

Thinking differently leads to greater innovation as ideas from widely different places are brought together to create something new.

Encourage your child to think differently by playing with different ways you can bring strange things together in your world.

Maybe you make a happy face out of today’s lunch, combining food preparation, meal time, and art. Or find new ways to incorporate the favorite stuffed animal of the moment into the task of the day in a fun way.

What are some ways you can think of to encourage innovative thought in your child?

Innovation means thinking differently