A client asked us to do a program on Out of the Box Thinking, and we decided to try something “out of the box” with their top 20 business leaders. We had them build boxes, define the boundaries of their thinking, put them on their head, and together co-create how the box impacts their business.
What we thought would be an interesting exercise in creative thinking has evolved into revolutionary way to experience and understand what it means to think out of the box, and why sometimes it might be even better to think in the box.
“Today was a wonderful experience and I could see that the younger set was really moved by it. This exercise made the Box visible and raised questions that cry out for answers...again!”
- CEO of Tech Startup
“It was during the Out of the Box activity that I learned of how our strong opinions can lead to prejudice. Without the box, I can think of new, innovative ideas.”
- Operations Manager, Galaxy Macau
“If you want to have some innovative ideas, the most important thing is to think out of the box. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. We should be more courageous to change.”
- Participant Feedback
Before we think out of the box, we must first define what that box is. In our four step process, participants customize a specially designed box as a representation of the invisible thinking box that limits their thinking.
The outside of the box represents our public thinking, our personal branding. It reflects what we want people to know or think about us. It is the “face” that we show to the world.
Each side of the inside of the box represents a different limitation we place on our thinking. By identifying the boundaries of our thinking, we are better equipped to know how to open new filters and go beyond those boundaries to think out of the box.
Wearing the physical box on our heads creates a powerful emotional experience of how limiting our invisible thinking box can be. Through this experience participants experience the challenges of coordinating action, sharing opinions, making decisions and executing a plan with a box on their head.
In the debrief and application phase, we draw connections between the physical box they have created in the program with the invisible thinking box they have created throughout their lifetime. By identifying when it is best to think in the box, and when and how to think out of the box, we improve the conditions for creative innovation.
100 leaders of Nestle Malaysia used The Box in their annual strategic planning session to break through the tired and tried to new and innovative solutions.
Jimbo has shared The Box with more than fifty leadership teams as a means to improve their ability to be more creative in the leadership, and as a model for more effective communication and cooperation.
A senior management team used The Box to define the boundaries of their personal thinking, and then to create a box for the leadership team to operate within including agreed upon goals, norming behaviors, and alignment of important reports and measurements they agreed to.
LVMH used the In & Out of the Box process to create more innovative and customer centric approaches to improve the shopping experience.
Talent Development International uses The Box as a part of their manager development centers to create more creative and culturally attuned leaders.
Nike used The Box with 80 Asian leaders to improve their coaching skills and creative thinking.
Lane Crawford’s HR team used The Box to increase empathy and understanding with stakeholders by mapping “empathy boxes,” and then creating solutions from the stakeholders point of view.
The Peninsula Hotel used The Box in it’s leadership retreat to find creative ways to engage new recruits and create a more cohesive Peninsula Family.
The United Nations Development Programme used The Box to get their leaders thinking more creatively and to stimulate new innovations in the field.
The box is used by Cross Cultural trainers to help participants better understand how culture impacts our ability to work together and how to open new filters and reduce judgment in cross cultural situations.
Jimbo is the founder of innoGreat Consulting Ltd. and co-founder of Brains on the Beach Consulting Ltd. He is a leading expert in creativity and innovation with nearly 30 years of experience in education, training and facilitation across Asia and in North America.
Jimbo is also the creator of the In & Out of the Box process has put boxes on thousands of leaders, managers, staff and students from more than 20 countries. He is also an avid innovator in the fields of training and facilitation and has created simulations and facilitation processes for leading companies across most every sector.