We’ve all heard this phrase. The Wikipedia definition is to “think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective…This phrase refers to novel, creative and smart thinking.”
Whatever that’s all about.
The Box is Context. Your context. Your personal paradigm. The Box is populated with All The Stuff You Know. With relationships between ideas, concepts, knowledge and applications based on your experience. Based on the context of your experience.
So what if you woke up one morning and started thinking outside of The Box. And realized you were thinking outside of a Completely Different Box than the one you were thinking outside of the day before?
It’s sort of like taking a commuter train one morning and getting off at a different stop than you normally do. Not the wrong train stop. But a new and different one. And you realize that you are OK with this. You may not be familiar with your surroundings but you are comfortable operating within them because you know you will get your bearings quite soon and get to where you are going.
At times, all of the information, applications, interpretation and just plain thinking and analyses that we do ends up rearranging itself in our brain. And we really don’t even notice this situation until the information is rearranged. We find we cannot go back to how we used to think about things because the ideas aren’t where we/our brain put them.
Because we are in a different context. And our New Context is responsible for The New Box within which we are thinking. And a new personal paradigm to be discovered.
Now walk into your current workplace with that concept.
It’s not even going to be a matter of being on the same page as everyone else. Because you still will be. Except that your page now has a lot more going on. And it’s a page out of a different book – your book, not theirs. Your page has a relational context to your workplace, but it no longer has a contextual dependence on your workplace. Because the former page you were on and the context from which you were operating are now History.
That’s when things really become interesting within the workplace. And within your career. You listen differently, you hear differently, you ask different questions because your informational needs are different. And your output is, well, different. You may not stress over minutiae as you used to because you have a different context for evaluating tactical solutions. In fact, you may realize that strategic, rather than tactical, solutions are easier to understand. That idea in itself is innovative.
It’s as if you have reinvented yourself. Because you have.
You may find conversations with peers are easier. You may seek out different conversations with a different peer group within the workplace. You may see different solutions as options rather than the status-quo from The Old Box. You may assume more risk in your professional career because you see a completely different road map emerging.
Has this happened to you? Recently? What did you do? Go searching for the security of The Old Box? Or continue to see where The New Box was leading you?
It’s unsettling. But it’s amusing as well. Like being in two places at once. Because only You know The Box where You currently Are. Although you will try to describe your situation to others.
Where are you headed in your professional development and your career? Because you can fill The New Box with lots of different tools, contexts, applications and insights.