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10/1/07

Strategies for "Thinking Outside of the Box"

In this day and age, telling somebody to think "outside the box" is pretty cliche. However, despite the overuse of the phrase, the concept that is encompasses is still sound strategy. Thinking outside the box or creative idea creation is an important skill that all entrepreneurs should try to obtain. The problem that most entrepreneurs have is that they become slaves to their ideas. This is a problem because a person, regardless of race, religion, gender, creed, educational status, and economic position, is restricted by the boundaries of his/her own biases, tastes, and opinions. However, you can overcome these boundaries by practicing a few simple strategies.

First, you can bring in an outside opinion. By bringing on an outside perspective, you are able to identify your biases and correct them or accept and utilize your bias, depending on your situation.

Second, you can evaluate your idea or decision to see if your biases have infected your thought process. This is very hard to do because a person usually does not recognize or know his/her biases. Most people write their biases off as fact and therefore, do not analyze the bias. This is the biggest problem with self-evaluation. However, it is a helpful tool that will be able to help you identify some, but not all, of your biases.

Last, when all else fails, do not use your idea. Thinking outside the box can include using the ideas of others. Talk with others, brainstorm, or get a "think tank" together to see what can develop.

Learn to identify your biases and how to evaluate their affect on your idea, and you will be able to come up with more creative, successful ideas.


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