We often hear the saying “think outside the box” (or the “bun” in the case of Taco Bell). This saying implies we need to think in different ways and see things through a new lens. Looking through the new lens helps us form a clearer picture of what we need to do to improve our situation. However, thinking is mostly passive and by itself is not enough; we need to act, or be active.
Acting outside the box means putting into action the things we think about when we think outside the box. As leaders in any capacity we need to act on the ideas we come up during brainstorming sessions and see them through to a successful end. I like how Timothy Ferris states it in his book The 4-Hour Work Week: “It isn’t enough to think outside the box. Thinking is passive. Get used to acting outside the box.”
August 13, 2008 at 12:34 pm
Involve those outside the box. That box would be your company or your customer base. Think together with those outside your box. The result will be radical innovation, an effort to create a market, new very different customers, real wealth, maybe an IPO, and a long time before an exit.
Involve those inside the box. The same box. Think together with them. The result will be sustaining innovation, continuing to do what we do, a little cash flow, a few more quarters before the exit.
Our box is distant from us. Our box is inside us. Both, simultaneously.