WE’VE BEEN TOLD…
It’s good to think outside the box.
Outside the box is how innovators think.
Outside the box is where we find our creativity.
This advice reinforces the old idea that freedom is flexibility. We desire to be free to choose whatever we want, to think whatever we want. We see our current box as a jail cell and we are looking for the key.
THERE IS A PROBLEM. Boxes are constructs of thinking. They are the categories and perspectives from which thinking occurs. As hard as we work to get outside of one box, we inevitably find ourselves inside another.
CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION ARE NOT BOXLESS. A fool believes creativity eliminates all restraint or that innovation is boundless. We say ‘the sky’s the limit’ to help people elevate and think bigger. However, this aphorism is built on the premise of limit.
IT’S TIME TO CHOOSE A BETTER BOX. Flexibility is certainly on the path to freedom. Choice, is a necessary component of that path. But the fullness of freedom, is found in the choosing. We must choose a better box if we want to do better thinking. One with increased opportunity to create value for the benefit of others. It is good to think outside of low value boxes but never be without your own box in hand. It contains all your best work, at least until you find a better box in which to think.