Think Out of The Box
We need to think out of the box! use to say my best mentor ever, when we were facing complex problems on the manufacturing of automotive micro electronics and we needed non-Orthodox solutions, but what exactly means Think out of the Box? Few years ago I found my answer on an unexpected item, in a drawing my daughter draw in her painting classes when she was a child. On her crayon drawing she drew a fish tank or a fishbowl, but what about that? What is so special about it and what it has to do with thinking out of the box? If we take a closer look we will see that this fish tank has two storeys and she provided to the fishes a door between storeys! I never considered a fish tank with storeys neither fishes may need doors to cross between them, so she thought totally out of the box!
It is evident that a child has very few paradigms, to become aware that fishes do not need doors and that there are not storeys on the ocean, rivers or lagoons, but she did not care and she let her creativity loose while painting this interesting fish tank, that by the way is one of my treasures that I keep from my daughter childhood and I have the proud to share it to you on this blog entry.
Think out of the box is left behind our paradigms, Edward DeBono (1970) propose provocations to put aside our paradigms, associating or connecting random words with ideas may help us to find creative solutions to problems we are facing, and these ideas may lead to unexpected results. These provocations are very well described on DeBono’s Lateral Thinking Book, he indicates that people use to think vertical, meaning building up ideas within their paradigms, then provocations lead us to think lateral, thinking lateral allow us to have fish tanks with storeys and doors to help fishes to transit between them just like my daughter did.
DeBono said that thinking out of the box lead us to generate unusual ideas that changes concepts, perceptions and rules resulting in fresh creativity. At the end the concept of thinking out of box must be part of or language on the creative and innovation enterprise path in order to take apart our paradigms in the generation of new ideas that could lead to creative and innovative solutions to our problems, so then I invite you to Think out of the Box!
Have you thought out of the box recently? Do you feel free to think out of the box at work? Please share your experiences, your feedback in important.
- De Bono Edward “Lateral Thinking” Harper Perenial First Edition, 1970 USA
- De Bono Edward “On Creativity Thinking” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjSjZOjNIJg December 2006.