In Los Angeles, California, a luxurious high-rise apartment building was on the brink of bankruptcy. Tenant after tenant turned in notice and moved out. To owners of the building, the mass exodus made no sense. Their beautiful, well-kept apartments offered a sound bargain in a safe neighborhood. So why were people abandoning what should have been a renter’s paradise?
The building’s management company hired a problem-solving group to get to the bottom of the mystery. After interviewing residents and former residents, the problem-solving team presented its findings: People were moving out because the apartment elevators were too slow.
A team of troubleshooters flew in to solve the problem. They gathered cost and labor estimates on several options, from repairing the old elevators to putting in new ones. But every option proved too expensive. Defeated, the management company had just about decided to sell the building, when the youngest member of the team took a creative look at the problem.
The real problem, he suggested, wasn’t the elevators. The real problem was that tenants got bored waiting for the elevators. His solution?
Entertain tenants who were waiting for the elevator. Install flatmonitor computer screens that flashed the day’s top headlines, weather, sports results, and even a trivia question or two. Pipe music into the elevator waiting areas. Add tasteful yet provocative paintings and sculptures to the waiting area to stimulate interest and discussion.
His creative solution worked. The tenants, busy reading the computer monitor, soothed by relaxing music, or admiring the art, quit complaining. The exodus ceased. The building was saved. And one creative problem solver had made his mark.
I recalled this story when I was recently struggling to fix some issues with my blog. I also recalled this post of mine – Hiccups. I managed to import all my old posts here and ensure that Aweber stopped sending out old posts by the hundreds 😉
Presently I’m still working on moving old comments to past posts. I can see the comments on the Disqus panel in my blog but I don’t see them on the relevant posts. I’m working on it…. and I’m certain I’ll find a way out.
Have you recently come up with an outside the box solution to a problem – – yours or someone else’s? I would love you to share your story here.
May you be inspired – every day!