Think Outside The Box: The path to change

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Tired of the results you’re getting? Want to change?

Feel like you, your business, team, is stuck in an endless loop of reactive, hardwired, knee jerk, automatic, unconscious actions and behaviors?

Human beings and things humans make (companies, institutions, ventures, communities) become whatever they ‘repeatedly’ do.

“We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an action but a habit.” Aristotle

Learning and memory according to Hebb’s law is nothing more than the formation of new synaptic connections between neurons. Whatever we think about we create feelings around. As we think the same thoughts (fire the same neurons) we wire the same feelings. Over time behavior results and voila we are thinking and acting inside the same box; over and over again, we have become ‘us.’

To change we must think new. We must use our brains to create a new mind.

A new mind is change. When we think outside the box, we literally create a new mind (the brain in action) by thinking unlike we are accustomed to we rearrange brain circuitry. When we fire new neurons we wire new feelings. New thoughts and new feelings create new programming.

Repetitive thoughts and repetitive feelings create ‘the box’  the frame of mind, the personality.

To change, we practice thinking in ways that are not comfortable, known to us. We break with our usual environments and the memories of the past.  Our goal is to force our brain to fire synaptic patterns in different ways, order and arrangements; this is the making of a new ‘frame’ of mind. A new mind is one that does not keep time with the reinforced ways of our past. It’s a mind that is ‘outside the box’  creating a new neural footprint, changing, growing, innovating and creating.

Einstein reminds us that, “no problem can be solved by the same level of consciousness that created it.”

Here’s an exercise I use with entrepreneurs and leaders to help them practice thinking  outside the box about marketplace opportunities. I share it with you as a way of illustrating how questions can be used to get outside the box…


Opportunision: The ability to see opportunities others don’t. ( THINK DIFFERENTLY!)

Phase 1:Define the industry( circumstance) as is:

Existing Product or service (job/career): ________________________________________________

Industry: __________________________________________________________________
The current industry focus: _______________________________________________
Price Focus: __________________________________________________________
High Tech/ High Touch: __________________________________________________
Alternative solutions: ____________________________________________________
Complementary products/services/solutions: _________________________________

Phase 2: We become an INNOVALUADTOR ( another new word to help us get outside the box)

A person that creates innovative solutions that add value to life Innovaluadtor

Thinking Outside The Box ?

( questions below are for business people looking to identify and think differently about their business…you can change the questions to apply to your personal life, a non profit, institution or organization- go ahead think outside the box, use this as a framework!)

What’s happening in other industries? ( lives, organizations, businesses?)

What’s happening across the chain of buyers?

What’s happening across pricing groups?

What’s happening across distribution models/channels from high touch to high tech?

What’s happening with complementary products and services?

What’s happening with alternative products and services?

What trends are informing opportunities and changing the marketplace/competitive
landscape?

So what might you want to attend to, contemplate, ruminate on and ponder to begin to get outside the box- and create change?

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