Leaderly Quote: Don’t think outside the box. Think like there is no box.

If you’re stuck in a routine that’s limiting your creativity or you’re faced with a challenging business problem and need a fresh approach, you can think outside the box. Or even better, think like there is no box.

Here are five techniques to get you thinking way outside the box.

1. Look for random inspiration
Nadia Goodman, writing for Entrepreneur Magazine, suggests a quick search on Pinterest, Twitter or Google to uncover inspiration.

“…trigger your brain to make connections it normally wouldn’t make. To do that, look for inspiration that seems entirely unrelated to the problem.”

2. Study another industry
Dustin Wax of Lifehack.org suggests reading a publication from another industry:

“You might find that many of the problems people in other industries face are similar to the problems in your own, but that they’ve developed really quite different ways of dealing with them. Or you might well find new linkages between your own industry and the new one, linkages that might well be the basis of innovative partnerships in the future.”

3. Schedule a brainstorming session
In her article for American Express Open Forum, Vivian Wagner advises business leaders to carve out dedicated time for brainstorming.

“Sometimes the best way to encourage creativity is to schedule it into the day. This might seem counterintuitive, but the more creative thought that can be scheduled, the more likely it is to happen.”

4. Create a curiosity box
Writing for CNBC, Jeff Dyer, Hal Grierson, and Clayton M. Christensen (co-authors of The Innovator’s DNA) suggest creating a curiosity box filled with a weird assortment of interesting stuff.

“Start a collection of odd, interesting things (e.g., a slinky, model airplane, robot, and so on) and put them in a curiosity box or bag. Then, you can pull out unique items randomly when confronted with a problem or opportunity.”

5. Deny the existence of the box
Finally, you could refuse to believe that the box even exists. In How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life by Pat Williams and James Denney, Disney historian Jim Korkis is quoted as saying:

“Today you hear people talk about ‘thinking outside the box’. But Walt would say, ‘No! Don’t think outside the box! Once you say that, you’ve established that there is a box.’ Walt would refuse to accept the existence of the box.”

Sources
3 ways to think outside the box
11 ways to think outside the box
Get creative: 10 ways to think outside the box
An innovators guide: 5 ways to think outside the box
How to be like Walt

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Follow by Email
Jo Miller

A leading authority on women’s leadership, Jo Miller is a sought-after, dynamic, and engaging speaker, delivering more than 70 speaking presentations annually to audiences of up to 1,200 women. Her expertise lies in helping women lead, climb, and thrive in their corporate careers. Jo has traveled widely in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East to deliver keynotes and teach workshops for women’s leadership conferences, women’s professional associations, and Fortune 1000 corporate women’s initiatives. Jo is CEO of leadership development, consulting and research firm Be Leaderly. Learn more about her speaking engagements at www.JoMiller.net and follow @Jo_Miller on Twitter.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Follow by Email
25 Questions to Ask a Mentor

Whenever I’m asked “What are some of the best questions to ask a ...

Four Types of Questions To Ask Your Mentor

Have conversations with your mentor gotten a bit repetitive lately? Perhaps you approached ...

25 Songs For Your Leadership Playlist

What are your all-time favorite leadership songs — the ones that make you ...

How to Shut Down a Colleague Who Takes Credit for Your Work

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a meeting and the unthinkable ...

5 Ways to be a Leader, Not a Manager

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a manager and a leader? ...

11 Leadership Lessons Learned

Here are 11 lessons I’ve learned about leadership—mostly from much-admired colleagues, and just ...

10 Killer Leadership Skills: The Great Differentiators?

Last week at Hallmark I hosted a couple gentlemen from a partner company. ...

Influencing Without Authority—Using Your Six Sources of Influence

I am in the difficult situation of being unofficial project lead, responsible for ...

9 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

Truly great leaders are hard to come by, but it seems everyone thinks ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a question I ask in a survey ...

You Wouldn’t Stay in a Thankless Job. So Why Accept a Thankless Stretch Assignment?    
You Wouldn’t Stay in a Thankless Job. So Why Accept a Thankless Stretch Assignment?   

Want to connect to a bigger, bolder vision for your career? Try taking on a

A New Research Report and a New Era for Be Leaderly
A New Research Report and a New Era for Be Leaderly

January 22, 2019: Today, we published our first ever research report, OUT OF THE COMFORT

4 Myths About Having Mentors (and How to Overcome Them)
4 Myths About Having Mentors (and How to Overcome Them)

Mentors are special people. They take us under their wise, experienced wings and help us

Schedule “Life” First.
Schedule “Life” First.

Every year, on January 1st, my year begins the same way. I sit down with

25 Questions to Ask a Mentor
25 Questions to Ask a Mentor

Whenever I’m asked “What are some of the best questions to ask a mentor?” I

4 Ways to Break Free from Your Post-Holiday Funk
4 Ways to Break Free from Your Post-Holiday Funk

You’re back in the saddle at work. Maybe you took a few days off for

Our Top 8 Most-Read Articles of 2018
Our Top 8 Most-Read Articles of 2018

Go big or go home! If that’s your plan for 2019, we’re here to support

Top 18 Leadership Quotes of 2018 (Slideshow)
Top 18 Leadership Quotes of 2018 (Slideshow)

Monday mornings at BeLeaderly bring  motivational leadership quotes to inspire our readers. If your goal is

Be Leaderly Talks Gender Bias on the TEDx Stage
Be Leaderly Talks Gender Bias on the TEDx Stage

More and more companies want to lessen gender bias in the workplace, but I contend

Turn Your Strengths Into Superpowers in 4 Steps
Turn Your Strengths Into Superpowers in 4 Steps

Ask a woman to name her signature strengths and she’ll often squirm in her chair,

Ask Jo: How can I thank my mentor?

Question: I have an incredible mentor. She ...

Teamwork is a Skill. It Takes Practice!

Everyone wants to lead, or be a ...

It’s Worth the Risk (I promise)

This is Sarah. She’s one of my ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a ...

Leaderly Quote: Great Leaders Know When to Step Aside

“Great leaders know when to step aside.” ...

At Be Leaderly, our mission is a simple one: To provide proven career strategies that help you lead, climb, and thrive as a rising woman of influence. If you’re ready to lead, we’re here to support and inspire you.

Subscribe

captcha

PRIVACY

We will never share, rent, or sell your personal information or email address. Read more.
Copyright 2019, Be Leaderly