The “Box”, a set of rules, regulations, policies and procedures, is generally created for a reason (reasons that seem good, at least at the time). It is said that the terms of a lease reflect a landlord’s scars i.e. the ways they have been burned in the past. The same is true of any “box”; it is an attempt to protect the organization particularly from the inexperienced or those with improper motivations. The trouble is that reality is complex and no box can cover every situation. Plus reality can evolve rapidly and boxes tend to be created and left in place, rarely updated in a timely fashion.

To effectively “Think Outside the Box”, you need to KNOW the Box backwards and forwards AND understand why a given rule was created and thus whether your “brilliant idea” qualifies as a legitimate exception. Often rules are created in response to things that by their nature are difficult for someone with limited experiences to be aware of i.e. 1) consequences than can occur years down the road or 2) rare but catastrophic outcomes.

Summary: Thinking outside the box without knowing what is inside the box and why it is there makes no sense.

Closing Quotes

“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

“If you never venture outside the box, you will probably not be creative. BUT if you never get inside the box, you will certainly be stupid.”
– Christopher Peterson

“I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1809-1894

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier