Do you ever think, “I wish I’d thought of that?” Chances are you have. We have all from time to time recognized a great idea for its value, and of course wished we’d been the one to have the idea. The truth is, you can have great ideas of your own. All you have to do is think outside of the box.
What does outside-the-box thinking mean?
Inside the box is where we live 99% of the time. It’s where the rules are. It’s where our habits, beliefs and limitations keep us. Inside the box is safe because it’s what we know. We can therefore predict with a certain level of certainty, the potential success of any thought or action inside the box.
Outside the box, it’s a free-for-all. There are no rules, no limiting beliefs and no preconceptions. It’s total and wonderful chaos. When we allow our thoughts to travel to where there are no rules or guidelines, where anything is possible, the world opens up. This is where true innovation happens, creativity inspires us and growth has a chance to occur.
The internet was definitely an outside-the-box leap. Someone took the concept of linking computers together and the idea grew. Where would you be today without the internet?
Airplanes wouldn’t exist either. When you think about what those Wright Brothers conceived, it is both mind-boggling and inspiring. At the time the only things that flew were birds and kites. Who could imagine that you could put thousands of pounds in the air and keep it up there for hours?
Now think about what outside-the-box thinking could mean for your business
Innovation is really the only way to really grow a business. And innovation doesn’t mean you have to create the next life-changing invention. Outside-the-box thinking means pondering the possibilities of what could be, without restrictions based on what is. Outside-the-box thinking can be:
- A new perspective on how to perform a task
- A new way to market or sell an opportunity
- Finding a new value for a product or service
- Forging a new partnership
- And of course creating a new product or service
When you allow yourself to think outside the box, your business opportunities really take off.
How do you think outside of the box?
This is actually the hard part, because it’s difficult to know where to start. One place to start is to identify problems and then brainstorm solutions – the more absurd the better. Make a game of it and try to come up with 50-100 potential solutions. This will challenge you to get creative with your answers. Many of them will be downright ridiculous. However, if you step back and take a look at your solutions and examine your assumptions and why you believe they’re ridiculous, then you may come up with a new and innovative way of doing things.
Outside-the-box thinking can be an invigorating and motivating practice. Add it to your regular planning sessions and watch the inspiring and creative ideas flow.