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Brand Rewired: Connecting Intellectual Property, Branding, and Creativity Strategy by Jennifer C. Wolfe, Anne H. Chasser

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Chapter 5. The Black Box

The term black box can have many meanings. In aviation, the "black box" is the box responsible for recording flight parameters and holds the cockpit voice recorder. The phrase became popularized by modern media reporting on aircraft crashes. In computing, a black box program is one whose inner workings are invisible to the user or one that has no side effects and whose function need not be examined, a routine suitable for reuse. In philosophy and psychology, the school of behaviorism sees the human mind as a black box. In corporations, however, the black box phenomenon refers to the silos that tend to exist and to how decisions may be made in a black box without input from other disciplines within the company.

This chapter examines the dangers that can occur if innovation, branding, and development occur within the silos or black box. A Brand Rewired approach to innovation and brand development creates processes and systems to avoid the results of a black box theory.

Consider the silo approach to brand and product development we discussed at the beginning of the book (see Figure 5.1).

Figure 5.1 represents a black box mentality. In this model, each subject matter expert offers expertise in his or her given area, but lacking important information from other disciplines, thus operating in a silo. Let's examine what happens when companies operate within silos and the black box phenomenon casts a shadow over the company.

Figure 5.1. The Silo Approach

To illustrate ...

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