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.