If I had a dollar for every time I heard the phrase 'think outside of the box' spoken in the corporate world of business, I would be a very wealthy person. Not to mention, every time it's used in all businesses period. Among the most over used phrases in the business world is “thinking outside the box”. It is supposed to mean thinking creatively and off the beaten path. I think it needs to be retired.
The problem is that if you are saying it, (still) then you are already in a losing proposition. 'Thinking outside of the box' is evident by the people and companies that have done that actual action in reinventing themselves or launching a new brand/business. Those are the disrupters you see in the market place. Those are the out of the box 'doers'. They are not 'thinking' outside of the box, they actually 'got out of the box'. That is where the future is. If you are 'in' the box, your days are numbered in the ability to scale or sustain your business in a profitable way.
'Out of the box thinking' becomes a topic of conversation when a company and its employees have been around long enough to become boxed in by their own constraints. The minute you introduce a goal in your thinking, you’re introducing a constraint. Your mind now has a direction, and it will tend to go in that direction. This is why so many businesses bring in outside consultants to help come up with new ideas. The consultants don’t carry the burden of constraints on their thinking. They can dream up and offer up wildly new ideas that get people excited, and lead to innovative pivots and launches.
My advice to companies and people 'in the box'? Spend time with people outside of your box as much as you can. It will help influence and inspire your vision of the future. Trust me, it's better than continuing to say 'let's think outside of the box' to each other while your sitting in the box.