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A case for thinking inside the box

Munira Rangwala
17th Feb 2017
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We've all heard the saying ‘Think outside the box’. Whether you work in marketing or advertising, partners and founders encourage their employees to think out of the box. What this actually means is to produce creative ideas that no one has thought of before – ideas that have the potential to go viral and break the internet. But does anyone pause, just for a second, to define the box? If the box one is referring to is not defined, how do you know which ideas fall outside it and which ones lie inside the box? Here's why businesses should encourage their employees to think within the box instead of outside it:

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Image : shutterstock

Why inside the box is better than outside the box?

For any business, it is imperative to define what the box is. The box usually contains the goals and objectives that need to be achieved. If your employees think outside the box, they are concentrating on a whole different set of business ideas that may or may not be in sync with the goals that need to be accomplished. Thinking outside the box in such a scenario can prove to be a distraction rather than an encouragement. Therefore, define your box and its elements to your team members and ask them to focus on thinking inside the box rather than outside of it.

What's in the box?

Any business that is looking to come up with a killer creative idea needs to first define the contents of the box. What is the box made of? Brand identity, brand value, the history and culture of the company, and consumer insights are some of the key elements with which the box is made. It is everything your business is and stands for, properly defined and understood by your team. It's not enough for senior management and partners alone to know the contents of the box. Every employee in your organization needs to be educated about what's inside the box.

Why do we always need to keep coming back to the box?

Every great idea stems from a strong foundation. To get your employee's creative juices flowing, start by empowering them to find their place within the box. The biggest and most outlandish ideas aren't necessarily the best ones. The one question you should ask while evaluating an idea is, does it work for the brand? This is where your box comes into action. An idea may be creative, but without a solid foundation, there's a risk that the idea might get side-tracked. The contents of the box provide this solid foundation. Every employee must be able to draw a direct line from an idea to the box in order for it to be successful. Smart ideas are the ones which are rooted in the box and always find their connection back to the brand.

From ‘value added’ to ‘dynamic’, your employees are tired of hearing these buzzwords that don't do much to increase their productivity. It's time we start focusing less on these words and more on outlining the company's objectives.

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