Can you find the dog poo in the leaves?

Benjamin P. Taylor
3 min readOct 19, 2022

And why is this important for business, management, innovation?

Since accidentally adopting a street puppy just over a year ago, I’ve had plenty of time, and plenty of practice, at two things:

Finding his poo, so I can pick it up like a good citizen. He squats in the leaves or the grass, I mark the spot, I walk over and… where was it again?

And finding his tennis balls — in grass, in bushes, and covered in sand on a sandy beach.

I won’t linger over the first one, and I hope it hasn’t put you off your breakfast. But there’s a lesson in what I’ve learned (apart from the fact that doggie tennis balls are, in fact, a consumable).


I have discovered that three tactics work well to find these hidden items:

1- take a different perspective.

Get down low. Take an overview. Use the light.

2- broaden your field of vision.

Look wider. Tennis balls can get a long way under their own steam, downhill. They can bounce funny. Or maybe he sneakily picked it up and brought it halfway back, instead of leaving it where I mentally marked it. Or put it in a hole again. Or he’s standing behind me wondering why I’m wandering around lost, with his ball in his mouth.

3- defocus.

Stop ‘looking’. Defocus your eyes. Stop making so much effort. Allow… like in Star Wars… the tennis ball to come to you. Allow it to appear. You wouldn’t believe it, but it works.


We’re always spending so much time, in life and at work, looking for what matters. Finding opportunities, finding data.

I’ve learned that being there, and opening my perspective, really works. Sometimes, Daniel-san, the poo you seek is right beneath your feet.


Now, after all that learning and philosophising, I did also find the *best* way to find the ball, or the poo. What do you think it was?