Think Inside the Box

How many times has it been said, “think outside the box?” How can one think outside the box, if they do not know and understand what is inside the box? The workings inside the box, knowing what and how the elements inside the box operate, are the foundation for thinking outside the box! Artists, architects, engineers, scientist, etc., are well aware of this. It is imperative to become knowledgeable with regard to the rules, policies, procedures, operations, framework, and limitations that form the box before one can step beyond and create innovative ideas. The key is not be become trapped inside the box!

It has often been said, “Inform me as to the rules, and then I can figure a way around them.” Being creative is certainly outside the box thinking, but creativity, and whether or not the idea will work, is based on the fundamentals contained inside the box. That is why creative thinking is not a talent; it is a skill that can be learned. Taking time to learn what is contained in the box allows one to ultimately think outside the box.

Just what is creativity? Creativity is thinking up new things. What are missing are not creative ideas, rather, it is the knowledge and will to execute them. It is as important to know how a new idea works as it is how to implement it. In other words, how to innovate a creative idea. Innovation is about connecting the dots. Creativity is just having enough dots to connect. Innovation is the implementation of creative ideas.

This leads us to problem solving, the essence of our way of doing business. Problem solving, in general, requires a creative mind. At an S.E.C. marketing meeting, we are continually faced with a series of opportunities disguised as “problems.” Not only is it expected of us to be creative, or conjure up a creative idea, it is incumbent upon us to be innovative and formulate innovative methods to implement our creativity and creative ideas. Again, if we do not know and understand what is in the box, we cannot effectively think outside the box.

Therefore, the next time we hear – “Think Outside The Box,” it should be a challenge for us to recognize and explore all that is inside the box before proceeding. The S.E.C. Education Foundation of the Society of Exchange Counselors is committed to fostering educational opportunities that inform us as to what is inside the box, as well as the ability to think outside the box, and act.

Comments are closed.