It’s impossible to think outside the box from inside the box.– Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A
Creative thinking requires a change of perspective. In order to adequately evaluate our situations, we must step outside and look at the big picture.
Many people believe themselves to be leaders in their organizations or influential in their communities. Yet they spend most of their time in a box communicating with a small group of people. They really don’t know what’s going on in the real world. They espouse a set of principles and ideals they rarely model. The inconsistencies show in most every area of life.
If you want to think outside the box, get outside the box. Here are some practical ways to broaden your horizons:
- Study a new subject or industry. You might find something you can apply to your present situation.
- Read a book about a topic you might not normally be interested in. Sometimes this will spur creativity.
- Draw a picture of an idea that you’ve been considering. A picture really can be more valuable than words.
- Work backwards through a magazine or newspaper. You’ll be surprised what you’ll learn when you start at the back.
- Take a walk in an unfamiliar place. The scenery might just inspire something in you.
- Ask strangers for advice. Start a conversation with someone at the local coffee shop and allow them to answer a few questions.
- Capitalize on your most creative part of the day. Are you a night owl, early bird, or hummingbird? Figure it out and make the most of your day.
New ideas are bred in a fresh perspective. Break up your routine, associate with some new people, escape from your tucked away office. You might discover that you can’t think outside the box because you can’t get out of the box. Think about it.
What can you do today to break up your normal routine?