The January issue of The Voice paper featured an article written by RyCOM owner Ryan Rydell. We strongly suggest you go get a copy of the paper yourself. It always contains a lot of great news, views and information useful to all types of business professionals and the community in general.
For those of you that don’t or won’t get a copy, here is the article written by Ryan:
HOW TO THINK “OUTSIDE OF THE BOX”
Creative thinkers such as Graphic Designers have to approach this problem daily. Faced with new marketing needs and diverse assignments, a good designer can and will achieve a solution that others wouldn’t. Its the separation between a designer and a person with a computer program. Creative thinking begets effective solutions.
However, creative thinking isn’t exclusive to the fields of design and writing. Creative thinking is necessary in all aspects of business and personal life. You know this because you hear the cliche from every angle possible: “Think outside the box”. Frankly, its an over used term, mostly because people have failed to truly understand what it means. On the other hand, the phrase has a lot to teach us, and those that do understand its meaning, the “creative thinkers”, utilize this understanding to benefit themselves and their clients. So…what exactly does it mean to think outside the box? Furthermore, what is the box?
WHAT IS THE BOX?
First, a disclaimer: “The box” is not square, it will be different for everyone. Sometimes its a matter of education. Sometimes is a matter of philosophical or religious belief, maybe even personal life experiences. The box isn’t a universal shape applying to all people equally. Realizing this is the first step in know what the box is – for you.
Originally the phrase grew out of the idea of conventional, bland and “square” thinking. Its rooted from somewhere around the 60’s and 70’s when more and more people where challenging the norm. It’s OK to imagine it as a square cardboard box. Cause really, that’s what people end up with when thinking “inside the box”…a bland cardboard box of an idea. In application though, its much more metaphorical than that.
“The box” is what limits your thinking to your own understanding. “The box” is approaching problems the same way you always have. “The box” will make you want to think stereo-typically with a closed mind (without you even knowing it) – and with more automation than imagination. In simple terms, “the box” is everything that is typical, normal, simple and obvious. The box is bad.
WHAT IS OUTSIDE THE BOX?
A round earth, gravity, electricity, the telephone, the Internet…At one point all of these were outside the box thoughts. Ideas otherwise thought impossible, crazy and weird. We know that bland is inside the box, therefore we can assume that bold is outside the box. A mold breaking thought is almost always a creative one made by an “outside the box” thinker. Thinking inside the box is an easy way of being, in sorts, obtuse and naive to the intricate world around us. Thinking outside the box is the acceptance that anything is possible with an open mind. That there is more to the world than what we see and understand.
When you are able to think without preconceptions, full of imagination and creativity… forgetting what you “know”…that is when you are “outside the box”. Children have the easiest time thinking this way. They have little imprinted knowledge to rely on for automatic thinking. They are a sponge ready for all sorts of information. They are free thinkers not worried about how others will accept their ideas. Children just keep rolling their imagination without hesitation. They are outside of the box.
GETTING OUTSIDE THE BOX.
We all wake up everyday inside the box. We’ve been put there by many things. None of them worse than the next. All of them limiting us to bland. No one likes bland. Bland is “The Box”, and “The Box” is bad. It takes a conscious effort to break that mold. It can be done. To do this, you must accept that you don’t know everything, that you haven’t thought of everything, that someone else is better than you and that you have much room to grow. A humble mind is the most open.
Many people say that creative exercises get them outside the box. Reading backwards, drawing abstractly, observing mechanical devices, etc… Others say that music changes their perspective. Who knows, maybe food will do it for you. Whatever it is that triggers the switch, you will know its been triggered when you stop using conventional tools for creative results. If you want new ideas, new discovery, creative problem solving techniques, than you must learn to use non conventional tools. Approaching a problem from a childish perspective is a great way to free your mind. Thinking of how a solution will effect people outside of your circle will create a new perspective as well. With creative thinking, the sky is not the limit…you are.
To obtain a new perspective…a creative