I will say it again. I hope you are thinking INSIDE the box.
An unconstructed box is an amazing creation. With a few folds, the mostly two-dimensional unconstructed box morphs into a three dimensional structure with a lot of functional space to fill. WOW. That’s a lot of possibilities.
HOW MANY OF YOU ARE THINKING INSIDE THE BOX? I mean, thinking inside the ENTIRE VOLUME of the box, using all your grey cells to come up with solutions to fill that creative engineering “box”?
What would it take for you to come up with a solution using all your grey cells needed to fill the entire functional working volume of the box?
So many of us feel we have to “think outside of the box.” We struggle to come up with what we feel pressured to produce: wild, impractical, crazy, unfeasible stuff that is costly to prototype and unscalable for a full production run. The marketing folks are upset because you aren’t reading their minds. You are frustrated because the sales and marketing folks aren’t describing what they need in concrete terms.
When you think inside the box, you can:
turn the box upside down……. or on its side……or lean it against something.
You can even shake its contents. The box is concrete and abstract AT THE SAME TIME.
But you know what’s in the box. At least what you started with. You are familiar with it. You are creating a variation on a known theme. Only different. You are testing the properties of what’s inside that box. Perhaps reverse (or upside down) engineering your way towards a solution.
It’s not like I’m asking you to stand on your head and solve an engineering problem. I’m just asking you to use all the corners of that box – you know, where the cobwebs are – to think on. And think on them a lot.
You are an engineer. You like thinking. So poke around the corners of the box and turn the project upside down and around and THINK INSIDE THE BOX. At least start there first, and rigorously.
You may be surprised at what you will find.
When you THINK INSIDE THE EXISTING BOX FIRST you establish the baseline parameters for where to go if you venture outside that box. You may not need to think more than 1mm outside that box to create an entirely new solution, technology or prototype.
Think about it. THINK INSIDE IT. Three-dimensions, corners and cobwebs included. All the space you normally ignore going for what seems obvious to you. Or the solution no one seems to “get.” Or maybe even the easy solution. The easy solution isn’t necessarily the simple solution. Volume yields robust solutions.
THINK INSIDE THE BOX… AT LEAST FIRST.
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, brings entrepreneurial mojo and business- and revenue-producing collaboration and communication tools to small and mid-sized businesses and startups. She was named one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers 2013. Her book, Do YOU Mean Business? focuses on technical / non-technical collaboration strategies and tools.