think outside the boxWe’ve all heard the phrase. Thinking outside the box has become corporate jargon and been used so often it has lost its meaning. However, the original concept is still important. Thinking outside the box is about not doing the same thing that everyone else does. Since “thinking outside the box” has become so ingrained in business, how does someone do what no one else is doing if everyone is doing what no one else is doing?

The fact is although the term is thrown around constantly, the concept is still rare. Most people don’t think outside the box because they aren’t trained to. Steve Jobs once said that if he had asked people what they wanted in a phone, no one would have said a touch screen because they hadn’t seen one before. Jobs was an expert at thinking differently. He looked at the original mouse and asked “how can we do this with one button?” He did the same thing with the iPhone. To really think outside the box, you need to look at things differently.

One method of doing this is to think about how you could solve a problem without all of the usual resources. When you don’t have the usual, you have to find the unusual. That’s what thinking outside the box is really about.