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There is any Need of 'Thinking Outside The Box'?

We often hear about “THINK OUT OF THE BOX”, what does this mean. Experts say, when we are inside the box, we close the doors of our minds to the changes and innovativeness take place around us or we do not believe in such changes or we are not capable of coping with such changes.

We still think in the same way as we thought years ago, our views are traditional and old, still we think we are right – we are killing others’ innovativeness and creativeness brutally; we are not open to the new ideas, we are not ready to change, we are not optimistic, we are enslaved by our age old beliefs, even that are not prevalent to the present scenario. However, we do not wish to change at all, but the world around us is changing fast and it will surely take us along with it, it enforce us to change, however we still gather our nerve to be situated in the same old mindset – to be inside the box.

If we seek success we need to move outside the box. This may come from the impression that we feel that the quality of solutions or ideas are not innovative. We also feel that the contribution of others is not helping find new and original solutions to the challenges we face, for this we need to think outside the box. We can not find any official definition for "out of the box" thinking, however if we think there is a "in the box" thinking, there is an outside box thinking.

What is “Inside the Box”


Thinking inside the box means accepting the existing situation or solution, i.e. we are not thinking about any innovative ways and means to find a solution for the problems we are routinely facing or we do not wish to take challenges in going for any innovativeness that can also be useful in sorting out various problems we are facing, however we fear to think imaginatively. For example, a team leader says, "Whey we should take risk in finding out a new solution for our problems, we should go with the solution which we tried last time, why we should take risks of failure” – No innovativeness - clearly he was in the box!

In-the-box thinkers find it difficult to recognize the quality of an idea. In fact, they can be quite arrogant when it comes to valuing an idea. They rarely invest time to turn a mediocre solution into a great solution. More importantly, in-the-box thinkers are skillful at killing ideas. They are masters of the creativity killer attitude such as "that'll never work" or "it's too risky." The best in-the-box thinkers are unaware that they drain the enthusiasm and spool the passion of innovative thinkers, while they kill their innovative ideas.

They also believe that every problem needs only one solution; therefore, finding more than one possible solution is a waste of time. They often say, "There is no time for creative solutions. We just need THE SOLUTION." Even great creative people can become in-the-box thinkers when they stop trying. Apathy and indifference can turn an innovator into an in-the-box thinker. In only one case is in-the-box thinking necessary.

What is “Outside the Box” :

Thinking outside the box requires different attributes that include:

· Willingness to take new perspectives to day-to-day scenario.
· Determination to find out various solutions to sort out the issues
· Optimistic: One should be optimistic to go for new.
· Openness to do different things and to do things differently.
· Focusing on the value of finding new ideas and acting on them.
· Striving to create value in new ways.
· Listening to others.
· Believing in self and own team members
· Supporting and respecting others when they come up with new ideas.
· Innovative and Creative: If we want to initiate innovative ideas to get accepted and we should be creative, we should think out of the box.

Out-of-the box thinking requires openness to new ways of seeing the world and a willingness to explore. Out-of-the box thinkers know that new ideas need nurturing and support. They also know that having an idea is good but acting on it is more important. Results are what count. 

Contributing Writer:  Satish Nair [email protected]

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