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Outside and Inside the Box

“Think outside the box!”

In recent years, the catchphrase above had become a holy mantra for creative thinking, most likely to be used by management consultants and executive coaches in the business environment.

It means approaching problems in new innovative ways. It means conceptualizing problems differently. It means understanding your position in relation to any particular situation in a way you had never thought of before.

The world had shown an obvious success of the outer part of it. Apple, for example, decided not to pay for any advertising during a brief period after the first iPhone was introduced in January 2007 and when it went on sale later in the year. They used a ‘non-marketing marketing’ strategy to create some hype stories.

However, let’s look at the other part of the spectrum…

“Think inside the box!”

This catchphrase was not the popular ones.

It means approaching problems in known ways. It means conceptualizing a structure for multi problem-solving. It means understanding your position in relation to any particular situation in the way you had tackled them before. (Read something similar to this paragraph before?)

Apple’s story, again, they still use the same strategy for iPhone 5.

“Think inside and outside the box! If the situation requires you to think on the surface of the box, think on the surface of the box!”

It matters less for the approach that we use. What matters most is what we try to achieve and why we want to achieve it.

That makes better sense.

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