Don't Think Outside The Box, Think In New Boxes
Complete the following sentence…
An example of a car is…
Now, complete this one:
A car is an example of…
Which of these seemed easier and quicker to do?
For most people, they can quickly think of a car example such as Tesla Model 3 or BMW Series 5.
While answering the second question typically takes a bit longer, assuming you go beyond the easiest answer which is “a form of transportation.”
Yet, this is where there is room for infinite creativity.
Because the answer to the first question:
‘An example of a car is…’ forces us to:
1) think of a mental box or category called “cars” and then
2) chunk down within that to come up with an instance/specific example.
By the very nature that we are constraining our thinking to an existing box, there is a limited set of correct answers or elements that fit within that category.
While the second question, ‘A car is an example of…’
Gives us the freedom to create new boxes from which we can generate multiple new and potentially better ideas.
Where we use creativity to change how we are looking at things and unlock new possibilities.
Take for example of a small coffee shop whose staff wanted more tips.
Rather than simply leave a standard ‘tip jar’ out, they put TWO tip jars out and placed a card between them with a simple question:
“Which GoT family do you prefer, House Lannister or House Stark?”
With arrows pointing to each of the two tip jars with “House Lannister” on one and “House Stark” on the other.
This is a complete rethink of what a tip jar can be.
The question in the mind of the customer isn’t “should I give a tip?”, but which house do they prefer?
People who are Game of Thrones fans have strong feelings about this and more likely to tip.
And that exactly what happened.
The number of their tips went up by 50% since they started asking different questions every day to customers.
But this process doesn’t just apply to being more creative.
You can use it to think yourself out of your problems, challenge the limited thinking, disrupt yourself.
It’s all part of what a leading consultant teaches in this free…
If you’re interested in thinking more creatively and thinking not just outside the box, but in entirely new boxes…
...then be sure to check out the video above.
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