Think Outside the Box – More than Just a Business Cliche!

July 15, 2021

By admin

“Think outside the box!”

“Come up with something different!” 

“Go the extra mile!” 

We all have heard these lines or similar ones during our professional life, but there’s a lot more to this concept than being a cliche! It is the ability to deal with problems in an unorthodox way.

This article will explore some ways that will help you bring out your inner creativity and make you think outside the box. 

How to Think Outside the Box?

You can do it by conceptualizing problems differently and by looking for solutions innovatively!

Here’s how you can do it:

1. Move Past Your Fear

If you let fear drive you, you won’t get anywhere. You have to move past your fear of failure and rejection to be successful. 

This is what J. K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, did. 

She started working on her book amidst many issues in life. After years of hard work, she was finally done with the first three chapters, which were rejected by not one, but 12 different publishers. 

Any individual faced with so many setbacks would have probably given up. Rowling’s confidence in her book also wavered briefly, but she didn’t let her fear of rejection get the better of her. She continued to strive, and finally, the editor at Bloomsbury Publishing agreed to publish her novel. 

Even then, she was told that she wouldn’t make much money writing children’s books. But the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone proved everyone wrong! 

Image source: https://www.forbes.com/

She went from a single mother, doing odd jobs, to one of the best-selling authors in the world. She went on to write a total of 7 parts for the Harry Potter series and earned over $7.7 billion in sales.

So don’t let your fear come in the way. If you think you have an excellent idea, go for it! 

2. Ask ‘Why?’

Most of the time, when we come up with a unique idea, people discourage it by telling us that it will not work. They might say it’s impractical, too different, and unlikely to succeed. Not only people, but our own brain also keeps telling us the same thing that makes us believe that maybe our idea is not so good after all.

To counter this, we must ask ourselves why?

Why do we doubt ourselves that our ideas won’t work? 

Why will things not work this way? 

Why do we do things in the way they have always been done? 

As humans, we find it difficult to accept change. We keep on doing things in a certain way if it’s working. We hardly ever try to do something different and unorthodox. And that’s where asking yourself “why” changes things! It helps us figure out the loopholes in other people’s arguments and shows us that our ideas can work, ultimately helping us reach our true potential. 

3. Practice Mental Gymnastics

Another way that you can think creatively is by using brain-training games. Flex your brain muscles! Play brain-training games! They help increase your problem-solving and critical thinking skills. 

train your mind to think outside the box

A good example of this is Jens Madson of Heatxperts. He regularly trains his brain by practicing mental exercises, like alphabetizing random words, solving Rubik’s cube, or playing brain games on his cellphone, to boost his focus and concentration. This helped him come up with the idea of manufacturing high-quality surface heating products, which gained global popularity. 

Every time you concentrate on any such exercise, your ability to solve problems goes up a notch, and fresh ideas come pouring in.

4. Use the Disney Method

One more exciting way that we can boost our inner creativity is by using the Disney Method. You break our thought process into three steps: Dreamer, realist, and critic. 

Dreamer: First, you have to isolate yourself from external distractions and gather all your ideas, whether excellent or absurd, in one place. You can note them on paper.

Realist: Second, you have to look at those ideas from a realist’s perspective and see which of them can be put into practice in the real world. If you’re working on paper, you can highlight ideas that seem most workable.

Critic: The third stage involves picking the most workable idea and working on how it can be successfully implemented. For this, you’ll look at your shortlisted ideas and see which is most likely to work.

This method helps you come up with brand new ideas and gives you clarity about which of those ideas are practical.

5. Read!

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”, Frederick Douglass. This quote sums up very well how powerful reading is. 

The positive impacts of reading are countless. Not only does it strengthen the brain, but it also builds vocabulary, improves cognitive functioning, and obviously expands our knowledge. 

But how does it help us think outside the box, especially when it comes to business?

Reading business-related books, especially those about your specific niche, helps you develop innovative and viable solutions for problems. It also gives you an insight into different ways you can link with other companies, giving way to growth and development.

So, read as much as you can to stay ahead in the game!

Thinking outside the box might be an overused business cliche, but we should still learn how to do it as it opens the door for new possibilities and brings out our hidden potential. Just like what Joseph Chilton Pearce said, “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong!” You have to be curious, flexible, and persistent with an adventurous spirit to think outside the box. 

And once you learn how to train yourself to think outside the box, your creativity will see no bounds!

If you’re interested to learn more about how to think outside the box in marketing, our blog about The Creative Marketing Mix is sure to give you some awesome ideas! 

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