I’m afraid I’m changing my mind about the importance of thinking out of the box. In this very political year, many would call my decision flip-flopping. That may very well be true, but I’m not certain that’s a bad thing. Is it better to stand firm on a particular issue, opinion or position and refuse to change your mind for any reason whatsoever, OR is it best to keep an open mind and if and when presented with new information which convinces you there might be a better way or a more productive outcome, you change your opinion or position? I feel the second choice leads to continuous improvement and future success.
Anyway, back to the Proverbial Box. In today’s chaotic information-laden world, most everyone has heard about the importance of thinking out of the box and most are open-minded enough to give it a shot. Herein lies my change of heart. I feel thinking out of the box is still a key strategy but, in itself, is no longer enough. It is now imperative to not only think out of the box but to also ACT out of the box.
Today everyone thinks … however, very few actually ACT which brings us back to the importance of striving to close the ever-challenging Knowing-Doing Gap. We see evidence daily in the media of organizations who obviously know what to do but fail to act on the right thing and, as a result, suffer a swift demise … Bear Sterns, Hallmark/Westland, Linens & Things, XM Satellite Radio, Northwest Airlines who was taken over by Delta and five other airlines who claimed bankruptcy within a week (Aloha, ATA, Skybus, Skyway, and Frontier).
Our focus must now move to the urgency of taking action on our thinking, research, creative revelations, and innovative options. Our goal must now evolve from merely thinking out of the box to acting out of the box in an effort to close that all-important Knowing-Doing Gap!