Thinking in New Boxes | Luc de Brabandere

Summary of: Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity
By: Luc de Brabandere

Introduction

Dive into the world of ‘Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity’ by Luc de Brabandere and discover how breaking free from conventional thinking and creating new mental models can revolutionize your approach to innovation and problem-solving. Dispelling the myth of ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking, this book provides you with practical tools and techniques to challenge existing perspectives and craft groundbreaking ideas. From understanding the limitations of our ‘boxes,’ overcoming tunnel visions, and embracing new boxes, this enlightening read offers a step-by-step guide to fostering a trailblazing mindset. As you journey through these pages, prepare to unlock the doors to unbounded creativity and bold advancements.

Thinking within and beyond the Box

Our mental models, or “boxes,” facilitate our ability to process and understand the complexity of our reality. Without these models, we would not be able to think efficiently. However, the key to thinking outside the box is recognizing that there are multiple boxes, shaped by our identity and experiences. Our minds are constantly developing new boxes based on new information, and the ability to navigate between them is essential for creative and effective thinking.

Building New Boxes

Innovation requires the development of entirely new boxes to avoid tunnel vision and promote creative thinking. Our subjective perception of reality constrains the realm of the thinkable, and clinging to established boxes can impede innovation. Overcoming tunnel vision and creating new boxes can lead to fresh possibilities and opportunities for growth and exploration. Bic and the acceptance of a spherical Earth serve as examples of the benefits of building new boxes.

Thinking Outside the Box

The human mind has a natural tendency to cling to its existing set of boxes, making it difficult to adjust our perspective. To break free, we must first recognize the limitations of our thinking and embrace unconventional approaches. This is highlighted in the story of Dick Fosbury, who was initially ridiculed for his unconventional high jump technique but went on to win a gold medal using the Fosbury Flop. Our reliance on intuition also leads to cognitive biases, which can impact our decision-making in areas such as finance and business. For instance, many investors tend to hold onto losing stocks rather than cutting their losses. By challenging our preconceptions and embracing new ways of thinking, we can break free from the limitations of our boxes and achieve greater success.

The Box Dilemma

Boxes can enable and constrain our thinking, but recognizing and challenging our subjective and collective models of the world is key to creating new ones. There are no right or wrong boxes, only useful ones. Video game companies, for example, could easily triple their customer base by including other demographics. However, even the greatest new idea is destined to become obsolete one day. It is important to constantly adapt our mental models of the world to keep or even set the pace.

Innovate with Information

The idea that great ideas come from innate genius is a myth. To generate innovative ideas, we need to gather information and remove old assumptions. The authors suggest gathering information broadly from three areas: global environment, industry or field, and your own company or team. The aim is to generate questions, not find immediate answers. To illustrate this process, the authors use the example of the video game industry. Ultragames, a fictional video game company, discovers through gathering information that their customer base is aging and includes a significant number of women. They use this information to develop new products that appeal to a broader audience. The process of gathering and analyzing information can lead to innovative ideas that challenge old assumptions and encourage growth.

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