Problem Solving

Memorable Mistake and Artistic Correction

We received a donor recognition form in the mail addressed to us but the letter was intended for another donor.  I returned the letter to the local nonprofit with a polite request to forward the misplaced letter to the proper donors and asked for a copy of our letter for tax records.  A week later an envelope arrived with our address written in beautiful calligraphy and a donor recognition letter inside.  

No apology needed.  Somebody had taken the time to add their craft and customized the envelope.  A simple extension of individual talent left me with a far superior view of the organization than had the mistake not taken place.  I realized that the cause was being served by passionate people who took the time to correct an issue creatively.


Packing the large camping cooler this morning and I realized that the plug for the drain was missing. I looked around for the missing piece and then quickly realized I needed to create a substitute. My children had just spent the last week at a summer invention camp so I figured that I would tap their inspired minds for a solution. Before I could finish showing them my problem, one produced leftover foam earplugs from the Jonas Brothers concert the evening before, the other one was grabbing some plastic and a rubber band. They handed me their contributions, recommend adding some tape and then went back to whatever they had been playing prior to my interruption.

Sometimes outsourcing works and saves a lot of time. Which outside resources do you engage?