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Business Productivity Strategies for Success (Collection) by Daniel Silvert, Merrick Rosenberg, Mark I. Woods, Jerry Weissman, Martha I. Finney, Trapper Woods

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32. Don’t Raise the Bridge, Lower the Water

Better Box Thinking

The aphorism, “Don’t raise the bridge, lower the water,” has applications from the soaring heights of architectural design to the ordinary task of presentation graphics; the common denominator in both being the importance of thinking outside the box.

In a paper called “Thinking More Effectively about Deliberate Innovation,” Christopher M. Barlow, PhD, a member of The Co-Creativity Institute,1 said that the familiar phrase “forced me to a new perspective: creativity is not a change in the problem, it is a change in us, a change in our thinking that makes the already possible solutions obvious.”2

Mr. Barlow identified the problem in the aphorism as how to “get the boats past the bridge,” ...

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