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Outside The Box Anyone?

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!


  1. Linda Lee Linda Lee March 20, 2012

    Corinne Rodrigues: Love it

  2. John Coolvart John Coolvart February 19, 2012

    That was pretty cool. I can’t say that I’m thinking outside the box… maybe sometimes, but mostly I like to lead a simplistic way of life.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

      I think it takes a great deal of out of the box thinking to lead a simple life 😉

  3. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

    Thank you. I’m so glad to be surrounded by creative and bold people like yourself. 

  4. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

    Isn’t it fantastic how our minds work…Yours is very creative as I can see @RoseFineCraftGuilddotcom:disqus 

  5. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

    I already see your blog as a  reflection of you….It’s great to know that it’s only a part of who you are! We all get stuck with ourselves sometimes, figuring it out is the best part of living I think!  

  6. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

    I wouldn’t have associated routine with you, Andy. Perhaps you reserve your creativity for your poetry? Good luck with the stepping out…I’m sure you’re wife will egg you on 🙂

  7. J. R. Nova J. R. Nova February 18, 2012

    So the real problem was a short attention span? We must entertain the masses!

  8. Solvita Solvita February 18, 2012

    Very interesting story! Thinking outside box is something that I love to do, finding new fresh ideas is what keeps our world grow and become a better place to live… Thank you Corinne! 🙂

  9. Rose :: FineCRAFTguild Rose :: FineCRAFTguild February 18, 2012

    Love that story about the elevator !!

    Creativity is everything.

    I instantly thought of PInterest and the LA health craze…
    and saw exercise techniques and score cards with Ikea pencils on top and bottom of the stairs next to the elevators… 🙂

    Oh, our wonderful minds.

  10. jan jan February 18, 2012

    I am not sure I have ever thought along normal lines. It gets me into trouble sometimes, but Randy has taught me not to worry and to do what works for me, not what works for others. I had to think outside the box to get sober and maintain sobriety. Not that I am unique in anyway, but because I have such a natural instinct to rebel against conventions. This is a wonderful post, good luck with your blog. <3<3<3

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

      I’m so glad you have Randy by your side to allow you to be you @c088badc6252237c20be74ea779af9bb:disqus . I’m not sure what you mean by saying you are not ‘that unique’ – each of us is. It’s just that some of us conform and some of us don’t – and it’s usually those that go out on a limb that make the best of their life. Thanks for the wishes. ♥

  11. Mary Hudak-Collins Mary Hudak-Collins February 18, 2012

    Corinne, this morning seems to be an ‘inspirational post’ morning for me lol.  I wonder if the posts are trying to tell me something???  Sometimes, the obvious is not always the answer.  I am currently working my way out of the box, changing routines and changing styles.  It’s not always a comfortable move because we tend to like our comfort zone, but I know that the end result will be tremendous!  Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

      We all have those days, Mary. I’m glad this ‘spoke’ to you. I think we all need to constantly look are reworking our routines and making sure we’re not getting too comfortable. I know the end result will be fab, @google-fa6d60ae2d8167c683aa10d45de3d03f:disqus . 

  12. Sulekha Sulekha February 18, 2012

    Another interesting story, loved it Corinne. Inspiring as always…

  13. irene9583 irene9583 February 18, 2012

    I’m still currently searching for that outside the box solution to my life, Corinne. Thank you so much for this inspiring post! 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

      And you will find it, Irene. You are extremely intelligent and creative – just give yourself time. 

  14. Carl Mason-Liebenberg Carl Mason-Liebenberg February 18, 2012

    Thinking out of the box seems to be a natural thing for me in many regards…especially in the expression of my gifts…like gardening, design, cooking even writing. Sometimes I think people wonder if i even know where the box is…lol. I love pushing the limits, chalenging the norms and being creative. Now applying that to me directly is a bit different…I can get stuck there..

  15. Savira Savira February 18, 2012

    Great post.. As I read your post I find myself in that place where exodus is all I am thinking… How and what do I do to change it for me….
    Love the look of your blog

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 19, 2012

      I’m sure you’ll figure it all out, Savira. Wishing you love and peace. Thanks. 

  16. Andy Andy February 18, 2012

    Hello Corinne.
    I am one who likes routine and have a meltdown at the mere mention of change. Thanks to the creativity of my beautiful wife, I am learning to step outside my comfort zone…baby steps at a time (smile).
    Thanks for a thought-provoking & inspiring post. Keep them coming.

  17. Edmund Edmund February 18, 2012

    I love the elevator story and the example of creative problem solving here..especially thinking out of the box.  Funny how sometimes the answers are right in front of our face, it just requires some awareness and taking a step back.

  18. Claudia Claudia February 18, 2012

    this is a very cool and inspiring story…a toast to creativity…!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 18, 2012

      Thanks, @9c97cc02f9fd74dd1525e81b32c5d846:disqus . And your creativity is something to be toasted! ♥

  19. Dawn Dawn February 18, 2012

    I always enjoy reading stories of this nature, because we all have a different and unique approach to solving any problem.  I wouldn’t automatically think people would choose to move (in large numbers) from a building because of a slow elevator, but we’re all different.  I’d probably take it as a nudge from God/Universe/Spirit that I should give thought to using the stairs and getting some cardio in each day!  I always feel happy when I visit here, partly because of that beautiful smile of yours and also because I just enjoy your approach to life in general.

    Much love to you, sweet girl!

    – Dawn

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 18, 2012

      I guess moving would be an option if it was a very tall building. I don’t mind climbing up stairs but climbing down kills my knees. So someone like me might have to move 😉 Thanks for visiting, Dawn. You do know how to make me feel good! ♥

  20. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

    Haha @660cff7ac0bc06717d584a56e34bcac0:disqus  I like the idea of prizes for taking the steps too! 

  21. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

    Fantastic mantra, @0222b9202f90703aefc992d687074d82:disqus ! Thank you.

  22. Bonnie Gayadeen Bonnie Gayadeen February 17, 2012

    I am wayyyyy outside the box…so much so it gets me into trouble at times..but my mind does not know how to stay in that small tight box…..if i must exist then I choose to be be unique…let me stay outside the box……I have faith you will figure out this whole comment thing in no time….As always…XOXOXOXO 

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      You are so right @google-6dabf3f0adf419f364ee5fc779aed43f:disqus  – you do think differently and that’s what makes you, YOU. 
      Thanks for your faith – I need it ….Love ya 

  23. Rachel & Pokey Rachel & Pokey February 17, 2012

    This is great Corrine!  I love coming up with creative solutions.  For example, the water in my shower wasn’t warm enough in the mornings… so, now I do two minutes of dishes when I wake up (which uses enough water to kick the water heater on) then go play online for half an hour or so until the water is hot.  I’m still saving energy by not heating the water all night, I get more dishes done AND I get hot showers.  🙂

  24. G Angela G Angela February 17, 2012

    Ha ! Corinne ! I must learn to think out of my box, still in process, you are my inspiration, and I admire the way you keep exploring, your blog looks really beautiful and nice, thanks for the lovely post !

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      Thanks, @befa2dfeef799a6c6ca6f97264045c68:disqus ….You have always moved way out of your comfort zone…and you keep doing that time and again. Thanks for the compliments on the blog. 

  25. Tameka Mullins Tameka Mullins February 17, 2012

    I’ve always tried to color outside the lines and when I’m faced with a problem or issue I can’t handle I often come up with other ways to get things done. Honestly I’m facing something right now where I thought I was thinking outside the box, but I haven’t received the results I’m looking for just yet. I won’t give up though! Thanks for this Corinne. I am on the right track. I just know it! 

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      Thanks for sharing, Tameka. I know you’ll figure out what you have to do creatively and make a huge success of it. You are too talented and too focused not to! You are on the right track, sweetie! ♥

  26. Dr. Daisy S Dr. Daisy S February 17, 2012

    Loved your post…great story…I found a way to help more people with my site..the solution was to invite contributors with the same mission and it is working nicely..the mission continues..good luck with your project:)

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      That’s a cool idea, @google-66c4bd6de0d379293f30d8d5d516fad3:disqus …I’ve been trying that too and it works real well.

  27. Mona Mona February 16, 2012

    Well written and fascinating story!

  28. Rimly Bezbaruah Rimly Bezbaruah February 16, 2012

    Loved this Corinne. I am sure you will also succeed in getting the comments to fall into place with their relevant posts. As for thinking outside the box has never been easy for me but I am sure I will sometime or the other.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      @7c04a3c7aa85123a82fb23d2b69990bf:disqus  knowing how creative you are, I’m wondering why thinking outside the box is not easy for you…Would love to know…

  29. Debra Elramey Debra Elramey February 16, 2012

    Yes Corinne, I’m an all-around outside-the-box thinker 😉 
    Love this message, you know I do!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      Oh don’t I know that about you, @google-3d38cb7d9d9e35f57bf9da55324ae303:disqus  !! 

  30. Carla J Gardiner Carla J Gardiner February 16, 2012

    Great post and story comparing how to think outside the box. Can’t wait to hear how your personal dilemma gets solved.

  31. Family Challenge Family Challenge February 16, 2012

    Love it!  This is my specialty and the one reason I’ll be out of poverty soon…something very few people actually accomplish–completely changing their trajectory in life.  It’s thinking in completely new ways that makes the difference between success and failure….because successful people never fail, they just keep learning!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      So glad for you. It’s true what you say we have to look at things so differently in order to succeed. 

  32. Lynne Watts Lynne Watts February 16, 2012

    Corinne, I love this post.  Sometimes what we think is the problem… really isn’t the problem at all.  Sometimes we’re working overtime thinking in the wrong direction.  Here’s the question I’m learning to ask:  Where’s the opportunity in this?  It’s amazing the answers sometimes you get if you change your perspective.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      Great question, @282f44fe9ce09027585c0784eeae7338:disqus …So right what you say, if we decide to see every experience as an opportunity to learn and grow, we will be really wise indeed.

  33. Claude West Claude West February 16, 2012

    Corinne this was a fun read.  I was thinking well maybe they should encourage using the stairs and even offer prizes to the fastest or something like that……well this is a better solution and very much out of the box.

  34. Beau Henderson Beau Henderson February 16, 2012

    I love this post.  Its inspiring

  35. Lorrie Lorrie February 16, 2012

    Creative thinking…actually I think many of my best solutions come from creative non-thinking. Great story that really stimulates the imagination. Thanks.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      Ah that’s a great concept too, Lorrie and so right you are. Sometimes my best ideas come to me while I’m taking a shower and not really thinking! Thanks for stopping by @fc619f8b9ea465bc07aa23a639c856d6:disqus 

  36. Myrna Myrna February 16, 2012

    I wrote a little story about thinking outside the box.  I think it’s so important to exercise those creative muscles.  

    You’re my hero for taking on the task of moving your blog.  I’m still a little computer shy, but I am thinking of changing the name of my blog.  Still thinking about it.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      Would love to read that story, @fc9207346ed3beae16947fde8b2511b3:disqus .  I’m going to push you towards moving your blog – it’s actually simpler than I thought it might be – except for some minor hiccups! 🙂

  37. Erica Ardali Erica Ardali February 16, 2012

    Nice Blog Post. The cartoon at the beginning is totally me! I over think all the time! 

  38. Carele Belanger Carele Belanger February 16, 2012

    Always Always Always think outside of the box which will bring you to great achievements!

  39. Cindy Cindy February 16, 2012

    Great post. Sometimes getting a fresh perpestive from someone else is the way to go.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      You inspired me too @twitter-297112305:disqus ! So thank you in return.

  40. L.C. Griffith L.C. Griffith February 15, 2012

    Thinking outside of the box requires that all preconceived ideas be laid aside. I have a hard time doing this, but when I do, and I find a unique approach; I get a huge thrill out of it! 
    Great post Corinne! 
    I hope you find an answer to your blogging issues. I hate trying to figure out technological problems as I tend to be a bit techno phobic. Sending love and prayers!xo

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      So true, Leah. We’re so used to thinking in a particular way that we get hung up on some notions and stand in our own way! Thanks for the wishes, Leah. ♥

  41. DangerousLinda DangerousLinda February 15, 2012

    Hi, Corinne! ~

    The elevator story is perfectly in sync with what I am currently working on in my own life…

    Realizing I’m perpetually pummeled by (at least) low grade stress, like waiting for the slow elevator, I am experimenting with new stress-busting techniques using simple sense stimulation techniques.  A hanky spritzed with Mr. C’s cologne tucked in my purse, the feel of prayer beads in my pocket, mini-vision boards I can carry with me are some of the possibilities I’m playing with to calm me throughout the day.

    Good luck with your web challenges — of course, we know they are mostly growth exercises ;-X 

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      I wouldn’t have associated stress with you @DangerousLinda:disqus …But you’ve come up with some great ways of beating it, I see. I naturally love the cologne idea the best 😉 Growth exercises – yes, of course. Bring them on, I say! 

  42. Edwina Smith Parker Edwina Smith Parker February 15, 2012

    What a thought provoking post!  Thank you.  I recently “stepped out of the box” with something and am anxious to see how it all turns out.  Great post.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      Glad you took the ‘plunge’ out, @facebook-1250598092:disqus …Now don’t be anxious. I’m sure it will all turn out wonderful. Thank you for stopping by.

  43. Rhonda Uretzky Rhonda Uretzky February 15, 2012

    The way to think outside the box is to eliminate the box completely! I sent both my children to a school that had no testing, no grading, no competition at all; no textbooks, no desks, no shoes! They turned the box upside down and out fell children who grew up tolerant, cooperative, loving. 

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      Fantastic, @facebook-588498900:disqus …. What a great example you are!

  44. Sukanya Sukanya February 15, 2012

    I love brainstorming which does not necessarily solve the problem. But I enjoy looking at things from different perspectives although this is quite hard when emotions are involved. Its always astonishing to find how a tough problem can be solved with a simple solution. Stopped by after a long time. Love your new look, Corinne!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      Such a good point, Sukanya. Yes, brainstorming may not always solve the problem but it certainly puts us in the right frame of mind. Setting emotions aside can be a big problem, but that’s where being cool headed and mature comes in. Thank you for stopping by and for the compliment. I’m still getting used to this new space!

  45. Dawn Griffith Ranieri Dawn Griffith Ranieri February 15, 2012

    Love the cartoon! I love to be creative and find ways to be different. Sometimes I feel like I do pull one of those muscles! Due to the overwhelming amount of things going on that make my brain just go blank! Hate when that happens!
    Right now we are looking for ways to make our company even better. Doing a 360! I will share more once this finally works out! Always have to be thinking 😉

    Thanks for sharing this great article!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      You sound a lot like me, Dawn. In recent years though I’ve learned to relax a bit to prevent blank-outs. Thanks for stopping by and sharing. Wishing you good luck with your company!

  46. Denny Hagel Denny Hagel February 15, 2012

    I love this post…great way to approach so many things in life and an important concept to teach our children. Looking outside the box for answers stretches the mind and our imagination! Thanks!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      I think that children naturally think outside the box, it’s we adults who curb their imagination most of the times, Denny! 

  47. melissatandoc melissatandoc February 15, 2012

    Oh you know Corinne…sometimes, I feel so settled with the things I can do but  my superiors see that I could do a lot more. Recently, I’ve been given a task to make ppt presentations for my boss. It has always been my brother who did them for me but this time, the boss gave the project directly to me.It ate up most of my time but I was able to put things together and not only that, I also learned to create a video and  convert files and music.

    Your post reminded me so much of Patch Adams 🙂 It takes creativity and imagination to get outside the box 😛

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 17, 2012

      I’m glad you stepped out of your comfort zone, Melissa. It’s amazing how we undervalue our own capabilities until we’re pushed to the wall!

  48. Janaki Nagaraj Janaki Nagaraj February 15, 2012

    Nice post Corinne….my box is locked right now and am searching for the key.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues February 15, 2012

      Which means you can’t get inside it, @7fb89d8628d78dfa927fb398e7645bdc:disqus  – so you must be thinking outside it. If you find the key – throw it away!

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