Sometimes you have to make the box

Posted: October 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

In the nineties there was a phrase that was tossed around in meetings everywhere.  “Think outside the box” The company Google sells an odd product and works on many many different types of products. There scientists are encouraged to think outside the box and solve world problems. This type of thinking can result in some strange workplaces and ideas that sometimes solve problems.

Work is a delicate balance of discipline, creativity and labor. Yeah I know that labor means work and I jsut said  that, work is a balance of creativity, discipline and work but, I think this labor word demonstrates the problem with the way the western world views work.

Follow me if you have a few minutes down the rabbit hole. The whole way the western world approaches work or the box needs to change and is changing. I have seen flex time and work from home schedules and work cell phones all become popular and tear down the conventional clock in and out model of labor. However last year the ceo of Yahoo took away the work from home option for her employees. Basically she felt that the nature of the work being done at Yahoo required her employees to get a certain interaction that they could not experience while working from home.

So when thinking inside and outside the box one has to ask themselves, what exactly is the box? What is this box? I think it is the conventional business model for the employee and lately the conventions have been different, radically different than those used just a decade and a half ago.

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When further defining the box another question other than what has to be why. Why is the “box” square or rectangle and why not triangle? See sometimes why not is as important as why. A company or executive or professional has to ask themselves why am I doing this task. Then when they get the answer the next question should be is this the most profitable and efficient way this task can be done.  The answer may be yes and then the work can commence profits will be made and all will be happy, but if the answer is no. Well if the answer is no it is time to rethink the box. What should we use triangle, a circle and why?

See thinking outside the box is a bad idiom. What would be better is maybe “draft me up a new box”… I don’t know I am playing with it. The bottom line is this. There are so many different ways to accomplish the same goals. It would be unwise to simply accept one box over another on merit of heuristics only. So instead of asking our colleges to think outside the box we should simply present the business problems to our colleges and ask them to think. creativity should not be hampered even if it is not cultivated in the same manner as other brilliant ideas and boxes.

I wish I could take credit for this truth however, I cannot. The amazing Sci – fi writer Issac Asimov wrote a wonderful paper for DARPA, explaining how to get new ideas from brilliant scientists. See I think that scientist are not the only brilliant people.  Everyone in an organization is an asset and should be tapped and used and have a hand in creating the box that will hold the. Wouldn’t you agree?





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