Thinking outside the box has become a phrase utilized so often today it has become cliché. Take a moment to ponder about when you approach a problem and look for a solution; do you try to come up with a creative solution almost every time? This way of thinking has been engrained into us from countless education sessions, planning meetings and sales process overhauls. We always are trying to think creatively to come up with solutions. So is thinking outside the box a thing of the past and now the new normal?
The word box in the phrase has an origin which is derived from the word paradigm. Paradigm is defined as a pattern or model of an instance or a specific train of thought to reach a solution. Author Thomas Kuhn, a historian of science wrote about this in his book titled The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Long story short, he stated that even conservative scientists will use techniques to find solutions which lead them to working outside the paradigm they are accustom to. In more current times we would consider these scientists to be thinking outside the box.
The world today is constantly looking at creative new ways to find solutions; it seems the same in the meetings and events industry. Meetings are always changing; new ideas are coming in and going out. Large conferences are adjusting their schedules and events to meet the demand of the attendees and if we are doing this all the time it is the new normal or now the box.
It is time to refocus our thoughts and ideas. You no longer are thinking outside the box, heck throw the box out. (Well not in the trash, we are green here so at least recycle it.) Each problem will now have a new process to find the solution. Solutions now will be unique to themselves to provide the best result. There are three points I focus on to provide the best solution. I do not think of a normal process because each is different.
- The outcome. How can you get a better outcome from the problem with a specific solution(s)?
- The resources you have to provide the best solution (people, funding, marketing, etc)
- What did or did not work in the past. The old solution could have been thinking outside the box and it did not work.
I challenge you to stop using the phrase “thinking outside the box” because it is the new normal and refocus your thoughts on a solution to best fit each problem, always creating better results. Remember people want results in the end, plain and simple. Do not over analyze your process to get the best results; think logically to reach the best solution.
Photo Credit: H. Michael Karshis Flickr Photostream