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Creativity Unlimited: Thinking Inside the Box for Business Innovation by Micael Dahlen

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11

The four walls of the box

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In order to be a successful business creator you have to expand the box. While what you fill the box with and how you shake it is distinctive for creative business innovation, expanding the box is common for many forms of creative thinking. The creative process is about following a rule or routine with an uncertain outcome, something that one needs to be reminded of in order to not get stuck.

It is not difficult to push out the four walls of the box, but to do so is absolutely necessary in order to be creative. We are born with these walls and they have a tendency to grow inwards over the years if we do not actively push them outwards. They are:

  • Conventions and rules
  • Common sense
  • Physiology
  • Consciousness

The walls of the box have been given names in order to emphasize some of the conditions that tend to limit creative thinking and which we must therefore work on. You might recognize them from the discussion on the creative person in Chapter 9.

In order to expand the box, you have to work in the four different directions shown in Figure 11.1. The first wall consists of conventions and rules. It is easy to get the idea that things have to be done in a particular way. The biggest danger is not from ‘real’ conventions and rules that someone else has established, and which we must adapt to in the form of laws, standard industry practice or social codes. ...

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