It’s one of the most enduring sayings in business: thinking out-of-the-box. And for almost 20 years I’ve been advising leaders not to say it. Why? Because if you say “thinking out of the box,” you’re not. How could you be? Parroting this saying about not thinking like everyone else only confirms that you are!
I like to say, “thinking out of the circle.” I’ve never heard anyone else say that. That one’s mine.
Pick your own shape and own it. Two-dimensional, three-dimensional, it doesn’t matter. There are triangles and hexagons, trapezoids and heptagons, cylinders and pyramids, cubes and cones – the possibilities are endless.
Just don’t say you’re thinking out of the box.