Thursday, September 11, 2008

When there is no box to think out of?


I can't remember the number of times that the cliche 'thinking out of the box' is often repeated in seminars, talks and courses dealing in innovation, creativity, and the likes. But seriously, when I revisit some of these ideas again, I just can't help but to think aloud, 'Why have the box in the first place?'

I mean seriously, doesn't THE BOX in itself IS the very epitome of constraint, restraint, of non-barrier-free thinking!? Hence thinking out of it does somewhat also refers to the connotation that the possibilities should only be looked upon as those that lies outside of this box, beyond the comfort of whatever that is within the box, a little oxymoronic when one dwells into the question a little deeper, don't you think?

I would prefer very much the terminology, perhaps, something like, "Expanding the Universal set of thought", a reference to the basic terminology referred to in mathematical topic on Venn Diagrams. Or maybe as a means to paying homage to the ubiquity of the original phrase, let's try: "Unpacking the box of thoughts".

Would this phrase catch on? Hmmm, nobody knows!

1 comment:

Zeitgeist said...

Nice post! Some very good books on that subject. The Houdini Solution by Ernie Schenck and Get Back in The Box by Rushkoff.

You are right in that it should be a more holistic approach but as a innovation workshop leader -- most people reply on patterned thinking. Famous but urban legend story. NASA spent millions creating the Space Pen based on the problem "how can we create a pen that writes in zero gravity." The Russians asked a different question "how can we write in zero gravity" They used pencils.

The big thing is most people aren't aware that they have patterned thinking. Love your stuff.