Unless I slip and say it by accident, you won’t hear “think outside the box” from my mouth when The Brainzooming Group is leading a brainstorming session. While “think outside the box” is thrown around all the time to give people the permission (or suggestion or encouragement or threat – you get the picture) to not think about things as they always have, it lacks a lot for creating brainstorming success!
“Think outside the box” is vague and unfocused.
“Think outside the box” is an exhortation without instruction or coaching.
Ultimately, who even knows what the box is or isn’t.
Instead of Saying "Think Outside the Box," Do This!
Instead of a relatively useless slogan, here’s a suggestion for strong creative, brainstorming session-type thinking you can do all the time:
- Be able to selectively and deliberately turn off what you know when it’s getting in the way. You can learn to do this by getting good at forgetting (when you need to), disorienting your own perspective, and soliciting ideas from newbies who aren’t shackled with your level of expertise.
- Immerse yourself in a whole array of unfamiliar experiences you can draw upon when you’re brainstorming and looking for fresh ideas.
- Fight the temptation toward premature evaluation! Protect fresh thinking (your own and others’) from being savaged (by you and others) before it has even had a chance at being considered.
3 Bullets vs. 4 Words
Granted, those three bullets don’t fit into a tight four-word admonition perfect for being repeated ad nauseam by people who don’t really have a clue about brainstorming success in the first place.
But if you want a steady flow of new thinking to enrich your life and work, as well as the lives and careers of those you come in contact with, what’s in those three brainstorming bullets will do a lot more for you than simply SAYING “think outside the box” over and over ever will. - Mike Brown
The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.