Out of the box thinking is a relatively familiar term to many.It is used to motivate and encourage people to be more creative in their problem solving . But what exactly is it and how does one become an out of the box thinker? In this article I address these questions but first, let me give you a general idea with a story.
Some years back, Motorola Razr was considered a top of the line phone. This was because of how thin it was. If people continued with that type of thinking, our phones would now be as thin as a sheet of paper but we would only be using them to make calls. Then Steve jobs got a different vision of how a cell phone could be. He thought of combining the phone and the computer into one device and developed the iPhone.
The iPhone may not be the first Smartphone but it was the first Smartphone adopted by popular culture. This allowed android phones to take off and it also allowed tablets to be incorporated into popular culture. So while most people were thinking of making smaller and thinner phones, Apple was thinking of how phones could revolutionize the way we live, this is what thinking out of the box can achieve.
So with that in mind, how can we define thinking out of the box? We can think of it as thinking BEYOND the confines of the norm. It means taking an extra step and looking at an issue from a very different perspective than we’re used to. The concept of thinking outside the box is simple but not easy.
Seeing how much we can achieve with this type of thinking, can we get better at it? Of course we can. Below are some things you can do to help you think outside the box and be better equipped the next time you need an out of the box idea.
Study another industry
If thinking out of the box is going beyond the norm, then another industry may be a great place to start. If you are in accounts, try and understand marketing or design. The idea here is for you to learn how people solve problems in another industry other than your own and try to incorporate the same ideas in your industry.
Take a class
The class could be on anything, but it should be different from what you’re used to. If you are into design, go into poetry, if you are a writer, go into design. Learning a new subject, especially one you wouldn’t have considered, is a great way to open your mind.
Read a novel in an unfamiliar genre
This means that if you like romance novels, try thrillers, or mystery. If you are into the literature, try romance. The basic idea here is read a novel that is of a different genre and setting than you are used to. Study how the writer expresses their ideas, observe the flow of the story and try to understand how the author get you hooked to their story. Understanding the different types of writings by different authors opens up your mind to more possibilities in other fields as well.
True innovation happens when you stop thinking within the confines of the norm. It may not be easy but the end result is usually worth it. I hope this article gave you a better idea of what out of the box thinking is about and some ideas of how to get better at it in the future. I’ll finish with a quote by Tim Ferriss that says “it isn’t enough to think outside the box. Thinking is passive. Get used to acting outside the box.”
Meditate on it, thank you for stopping by and have a great day 🙂