7 Ways To Stimulate The ‘No Box’ Thinking In The Workplace

IBM conducted a study of over 1500 CEOs and concluded that creativity is now seen as the most important leadership quality. Possessing qualities like creativity, adaptability, agility, resilience, innovativeness, among others, in this competitive post-pandemic world is critical for the success of your organization.

Thinking outside the box has been a popular phrase to mean ‘Think up something unconventional, something that transcends the popularly held assumptions’ and demonstrates creativity. The ‘box’ is the metaphor for the limiting influence our assumptions have on the ideas and concepts we think are possible. This paradigm presupposes that there is a box one needs to get out of in order to generate truly original ideas.

The new paradigm doesn’t recognize any such box and emphasizes thinking unconstrained by real or imaginary boundaries. Based on the trend, many are now adopting the new phenomena of ‘no box’ thinking, which consists of thinking as if there is no box at all. By now, you must’ve read a hundred articles on ‘no box’ thinking as well. And while it has been proven to be beneficial, how do employees
incorporate this concept into the workplace?

1. Set your box on fire

Approaching difficulties without any boxes is essential for the kind of idea generation that leads to breaking new ground in creative thinking. One can only break free from the confines by burning the box. Using your intuition or even considering some of the most bizarre ideas will help you slip out of the confined boundaries.

2. Keep an idea log

No matter how much you try to scratch your head, sometimes ideas won’t pop when you need them the most. Sometimes they strike at a very unusual time or place, and we tend to pass them by. Noting them down whenever the idea comes for future reference will help you go back to them whenever required. As it is said, great ideas come when you least expect them. Effective note taking also enhances prioritizing, creativity, and organizational skills.

3. Cross Collaboration

It can be extremely difficult to come up with new ideas, being the person closest to the issue. Scheduling a group brainstorming session with colleagues from different departments helps to unlock creativity through collaboration. It allows you to use your maximum creativity to find solutions. As a result, employees are able to collaborate and bring a new and fresh perspective to their own tasks and projects. The solutions and ideas that are generated can be used elsewhere as well.

4. Stimulate a learner’s attitude

A major challenge is that many employees do not consider themselves to be creative enough, and hence do not dig deeper as they lack the belief that they can actually come up with great ideas. Indulging yourself into effective thought-provoking and solution-based activities and games might help oneself to improve and embrace their creative side. Inspire them by welcoming failures and focusing on the positives. Getting together to discuss the learnings for the future will inspire and lead them towards new, profitable, and creative outcomes.

5. Welcome failures just to combat them

When there’s a lot of trial and error with fresh ideas, you’re bound to fail. Instead of being demotivated, practice embracing failures and focusing on the positives. Take some time to reflect on what you’ve learned so far and how you can apply it in the future. It will provide clarity, as well as motivate and guide you toward new, profitable, and creative outcomes.

6. Challenge your own status quo

We find ourselves scratching our heads trying to come up with crazy, wild, and outside of our boxed-in limits, ideas to bring out a solution. A great way to challenge your own strategic status quo is to regularly ask yourself the “Why”, “How”, and “What” of the conflicting issues and note what you would have normally done side by side. Now, counter the existing routine solutions with unusual and novel ones. This way, you’ll be able to identify issues from a different perspective.

7. Pictorial representation of the issue

Draw a picture of your problem and its possible solutions. A pictorial representation stimulates your right brain, allowing your logical left brain to let go of its hold on thinking about the issue or “the box” The objective is to use visual thinking and iteration to stimulate unique ways of finding different paths to a solution.

Whether you realize it or not, there will be boxes all around you, no matter where you go. Believe that there are no strict parameters set of what is and isn’t possible. It goes without saying that there are risks, and often repercussions, for thinking and trying something with no box. The real skill is thinking of ideas that may or may not be relevant at a particular time and then moulding them to align with the processes and goals of the organization to bring out scalable outcomes. Try these above-mentioned techniques to develop a creative workforce!

To know more, do visit us at, together we can construct unique ways to help you overcome whatever workforce or hiring difficulties you face to develop the best solution for your organization.

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