Friday, June 5, 2015

Thinking Out-of-the-Box, What is your Box Though?

The "boxes" are the walls in your mind. Out of Box is a metaphor that means to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective.

Every mind has a certain box, some smaller, some bigger; the box starts set-up at a very early age, by your surroundings, the education you received, the people you interacted with and the standards by which you lived. The "boxes" are the walls in your mind. Walls in your mind are constructed by society's conditioning (rules imposed by parents, teachers, leaders, media, books, etc). When you allow information into being accepted as absolute "truth" without first using critical thinking, it inhibits your ability to also think creatively. So in order to think "out of the box," you have to clarify what's inside your box, though?

"The box" is anything that the average person would come up with after having spent too little time being creative: When someone asks you to "think outside the box" - they're telling you to throw conventional wisdom and pure linear logic out the window for a while, and to let the creative mind run free for a while. The resulting ideas wouldn't be completely usable yet - but would serve as a starting point for logic to return to see which ideas could be used. In short terms, this is "brainstorming on steroids." “The box" is a mental construct made up of personal (self-imposed) and environmental (culture, parental influence, society) components that one operates within, so thinking outside "the box" means doing something outside of the confines of the construct.

More often, the box is your safety net and your comfort zone: The box is anyone’s comfort zone, that things are ok and everyone agrees and have the same or similar thoughts. It's a boring tiny space with very little innovative thought contained within the box. In fact, everything in the box is easy to turn stale and stagnant. Great things don't happen inside your comfort zone or in a box; typically, it's associated with convention within context. From organizational management perspective: In IT, it's proven methods of approach, in marketing, it's the tried and true solutions - the commonality is that "the box" tends to be what everyone with experience in the topic can identify as being "commonly known." It can also mean "solutions/answers I've already heard." But more often, the best practices are already out of date, or the "commonly known" is already so yesterday because the knowledge life cycle has been significantly shortened at digital age. When a leader says, "give me some out of the box solutions to this problem" he or she is also saying, "I don't want to hear what's already been said."

“Outside the Box” format is to utilize “Lateral thinking”: (The term was coined by Edward de Bono), which is to solve problems through an indirect and creative approach, using the reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic. According to de Bono, lateral thinking deliberately distance itself from standard perceptions of creativity as either “VERTICAL” logic: the classic method for problem solving working out the solution step-by-step from the given data, or “HORIZONTAL” imagination (having a thousand ideas, but being unconcerned with the detailed implementation of them), out of this format, managements consultants in the 1970s and 1980s gave to their clients puzzle whose solutions requires some “lateral thinking” or “Thinking outside the box” (also thinking out of the box or thinking beyond the box). This word is a metaphor that means to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective. This phrase often refers to novel or creative thinking.

Thinking outside of box means you are in a continuous learning mode, also, embrace critical thinking and creative thinking. When one leaves those thoughts and standards to seek additional knowledge and experience, they are stepping outside that box to unfamiliar territory. We all should broaden our points of interest and try new things to extend our thinking box. That leads to a better mutual understanding and more advanced society among all humans. Even sometimes 99,9999% of your outside the box thinking will turn out to be rubbish and worthless, but the remaining 0,0001% will probably mean a breakthrough for the human race. The problem is we don't know which is that 0,0001% and when it will hit us. But please don't stop speaking out what you are thinking outside the box and have fun doing it. If we all stayed in a box and didn't believe things exist outside of our box, there's no room to broaden our thoughts. One would just take what’s in the box and live with it. No chance to expand. Hence, Out - of -Box is a progressive and innovative thinking mode to push human society forward. 


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