Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ten Pointers for Thinking Outside the Box

Most of us tend to follow conventional wisdom and to think in routine ways when problem solving or investigating new ideas outside our comfort zone. Thinking outside the box can be a daunting task. It forces us to let go of preconceived notions of what an idea or solution should be and expand on the possibilities. It means asking what if and assuming the absurd. When we do, the sky is no longer the limit and we begin to develop a product that is better, more creative, and beyond our wildest dreams.

Here are ten pointers I've found helpful for “out of the box” thinking….

1) Look for opportunities that others miss.

2) The more diverse your experiences, the bigger your box will become.

3) Build your creativity on collective interaction. Seek out the perspective of many people. When everyone overlaps their boxes, incredible ideas can emerge.

4) Don’t be afraid to fail, think of it as a learning tool.

5) Deliberately explore the absurd and unusual to inspire new ideas and concepts.

6) Be open to new ways of looking at things.

7) Understand that sometimes expertise in an area can hinder creativity because it fixates us on a certain line of thought. Work to eliminate barriers that result from preconceived notions of what the idea should be. Take a leap of faith and test assumptions so that you can expand on the possibilities.

8) Be willing to face ridicule from people who cannot see things from a new perspective.

9) Understand that creativity is defiance from past experiences and procedures. Keep in mind that there is more than one way to cut a cake, peel a potato, or decorate a Christmas tree.

10) Embrace the concept that you can take any idea or product and make into something new.

I hope this post inspires you to take your ideas, turn them around, inside out, upside down, and back to front to see what happens.

As always, I wish each of you much success in your soap making ventures.

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