Don’t Think Outside the Box – Break the Box!

You have heard the think outside the box expression many times in business. I have heard it countless times and I am not sure people realize that they are even saying it anymore. As I have mentioned this topic while speaking, I will blog on it here. Instead of thinking outside the box, I challenge you to break the box in your thinking. Let me say it again…break the box. Let me explain it even more. Tear the box, destroy the box, live outside the box, shred the box…and decide to no longer be defined by the “confines of a box.”

This expression think outside the box dares us to peek out…but isn’t this also limiting? What does box even mean? Let’s think about it is as there are boxes everywhere. Most people sleep on a “bed/box,” talk on a “phone/box,” e-mail/tweet/text from a “smartphone/box,” type on a “laptop/tablet box,” eat from a “drive thru/box lunch,” drive to work in a “car/box,” and set their wake up call on an “alarm/box,” etc. No wonder people are so comfortable with box-type thinking.

Here is the challenge. Be the leader who is willing to approach life in a unique and unorthodox way. Furthermore, look at every obstacle and see the opportunity that lies behind it. You see, behind every problem lies a solution. To be a top performer we must think, act and behave in a different manner than everyone else. We must not be adverse to trying new ways of doing things and/or taking calculated risks. I call this “zig/zag” thinking. If everyone zigs do not be afraid to zag. It is much like taking the “Road Less Traveled” blog post I wrote a few weeks back.

So, never settle and always seek to find better ways to do things, and then, make them a reality. I call this “as if” thinking. As if you could do it today. This is what a “break the box” mindset is all about. This style of thinking is uncomfortable to many in the printing world who love a simple, black-and-white (no gray), four walls up, procedure-following, technical and box-oriented world. However, to compete now and the years ahead in a rapidly moving and changing world demands that your box go away to allow free energy, creativity and unbridled ideas to occur. What box do you face? Are you now sick of hearing the word box? Good, then break it.

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Ryan T. Sauers is president of Sauers Consulting Strategies. The firm consults with the front end of privately held printing and related organizations across North America. The areas of focus are: sales growth, brand positioning, organizational strategy, and integrated marketing (with an emphasis on social media). Sauers speaks at many national events and writes feature articles in global publications. He is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and entrepreneurship. Sauers is also the author of the best-selling book "Everyone is in Sales" and the newest book "Would You Buy from You?" Please visit: SauersConsulting.com.
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