Hi, have you ever thought that, “Do we eat to live or live to eat?” The same implies for ‘thinking’ as well. Isn’t it true that we exist simply because we think, and as we think so we exist? My dear friend, thinking is an extremely important attribute to grow and evolve in life. Every human being has an intrinsic talent to think, but we need to think in a structural manner so that we can move towards a proper direction and not get carried away by weird thinking.
Not just humans, even organizations and nations thrive on a unique thought process. They also grow because they stay focused and think different to push themselves towards knowledge and wisdom. In business world, the art of ‘thinking out of the box’ is an imperative approach for the growth of any organization, no matter how large it may be. In order to bridge the gap in between mediocrity to extraordinary, you have to think outside the box, stepping out of your cozy comfort zone and think beyond conventional. It’s often guided up by a lot of factors like your culture, social, political, economic, religious backgrounds and also your exposure towards outer world.
Non-conventional thinking is the urge in the real business world which ignites new pathways of seeing the world. You need to be creative and adventurous enough to take on challenges that can explore new ideas to exist in today’s dynamic world.
When you need to develop ideas, don’t just focus on generating a large quantity of them. The originality of them is even more important. Have you tried brainstorming, ideas campaigns, crowd-sourcing and other idea generation activities only to be disappointed by the results? Does it seem most corporate brainstorm sessions generate little more than pat phrases comprising the management’s favorite buzz words? Does your idea management system fill up largely with predictable ideas that at best might result in incremental innovations? If so, you are not alone.
The truth is, many of these creative exercises – and in spite of what anyone tells you about innovation, idea generation is a creative activity that can eventually result in innovation – are poorly conceived. They are designed to generate as many ideas as possible in the hopes that once the obvious, conventional solutions to problems are exhausted, more creative, unconventional ideas will come to the surface. Yet in truth, the only time this happens is when highly creative people are participating in the brainstorm.
Fortunately, there is a solution that allows normally creative people to behave more like highly creative people and so generate better ideas. I call this method Anti-Conventional Thinking (ACT). It requires that you throw away many of the rules you have learned about brainstorming and idea generation.
ACT is an approach to creative thinking that involves purposefully rejecting conventional thinking in order to generate unconventional ideas. Being anti-conventional means to be purposefully unconventional. If most of your colleagues drive to work, you can be anti-conventional by bicycling or walking to work. If the usual way to present results to management is in a PowerPoint presentation of bullet points, you can do your presentation in a slide-show of artistic images or, better yet, do away with PowerPoint all together.
However, being anti-conventional does not mean being rude, dishonest or unethical. Sure, you might consider unethical approaches in the idea generation phase, but only in order to devise ethical approaches that might be inspired by unethical alternatives. In fact, the best means of getting away with being anti-conventional is to be especially polite and well mannered.
To conclude, just trace your attention on a story that symbolizes the art of different thinking can also save one’s life, like this – two men were on a jungle safari in Africa. Suddenly, they came across a tiger that started roaring. Both men were frightened and one of them started wearing his shoes. The other one said, “How is this going to help? We can’t outrun the tiger.” The first man replied, “I don’t have to outrun the tiger. I only have to outrun you.”