Get outside the box!
Think outside the box!
How many times have you heard this? I’ve heard it so often that I’m not even entirely sure what it means anymore.
I get it: be creative, think innovation, try to be unique or different, break the paradigm, bring a new set of eyes to the same old problem.
And I agree – innovation and creativity is critical – some of the best ideas ever are ideas that are new and cutting edge, and different.
Thinking outside of the box is critical for the “thinking” phase. But we have to realize that when we “think outside of the box” all we are doing is really just creating a new box.
When we “think outside the box” we are just replacing the old paradigm with a new paradigm, but we can’t forget – it’s still a paradigm.
So we got out of the old box, and now we are in a new box, and in order to actually make our idea materialize we are going to have to stay in that box, and do some work.
In the implementation phrase of any creative venture – that phase where we take our “idea” and turn it into a “thing” that can actually add value in people’s lives, we’ve got to get comfortable in our new box.
An idea (out of the box) can come instantly – but taking that idea and making it real, that takes some time.
One of the big problems that entrepreneurs face is that they easily think “outside the box”. But thinking is only part of the game. Implementing and doing is just (if not more) important. To implement we must, at least for a season, put the “thinking” on hold, and move into the doing phase.
That is why brilliant innovators often surround themselves with executors – people who can implement. They know that the ideas are only part of the process. The execution phase requires skill, and patience, and time.
Great innovators, great “outside the box thinkers” may or may not have great execution skills.
Do you know many people like this? Are you like this? Are you great with ideas but then you have a hard time actually bringing your ideas to market.
This is something that any creative person has struggled with from time to time – I know I have.
One of the best things I have learned to do is when I get an idea – to stick with the idea for at least long enough for the market to give me feedback, so that I can determine whether or not it is a good idea or not.
The idea machine easily runs for an entrepreneur. But generating idea after idea is useless if we can’t get it to market. Getting it to market takes execution. This means that we have to stay in the box – stay with the specific idea – for a while, even while other idea butterflies are fluttering around our head.
Stay inside the box.