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Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity Hardcover – September 10, 2013
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“Thinking In New Boxes discusses what I believe to be one of the fundamental shifts all companies/brands need to be thinking about: how to think creatively, in order to innovate and differentiate our brands. We need to thrive and lead in a world of accelerating change and this book challenges us to even greater creativity in our thinking. One of the best business books I’ve read in a long time.”—Jennifer Fox, CEO, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
“As impressive as teaching new tricks to old dogs, Thinking in New Boxes is both inspirational and practical—a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to sharpening one’s wits in order to harness creativity in the workplace.”—Peter Gelb, general manager, Metropolitan Opera
“Offers excellent suggestions for thinking creatively and creating a sustainable work culture in the department and in one’s organization . . . a valuable tool for employees and managers of all institutions.”—Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship
“An imaginative, proactive, and creative approach to problem solving that prospects for new ideas rather than trying to predict the future.”—Booklist
“Psychology has shown us that there’s no such thing as ‘thinking outside the box.’ The mind always thinks in boxes, big and small, and the key to creativity is finding and creating the right boxes to think with. This practical book draws out the implications of this research, and it is a joy to read. I loved the many real-world examples, drawn from the authors’ many years of consulting for BCG.”—Keith Sawyer, Ph.D., Author of Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity
"Brilliantly original and relentlessly practical, Thinking in New Boxes brings a truly fresh approach to the eternal question of how do I get more – and better – ideas. It not only challenges the readers to “think differently”, but also shows them how. It is that rare business book actually worth reading cover to cover."—Jim Andrew, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Chairman Sustainability Board, EVP and Member of the Executive Committee, Royal Philips
"The pinnacle resource for any business or organization, Thinking in New Boxes is a straightforward roadmap on mastering the art of futurist leadership and understanding the intersections between creativity, innovation and re-invention. A well thought out approach and a hands-down, must read for anyone tirelessly in pursuit of achieving success in an ever evolving and rapidly changing global business ecosystem."—Dr. Mehmood Khan, chief scientific officer, PepsiCo
About the Author
Alan Iny is the senior specialist for creativity and scenarios at The Boston Consulting Group. He has trained thousands of executives and BCG consultants, runs a wide range of workshops across industries, and speaks around the world about coming up with product, service, and other ideas, developing a new strategic vision, and thinking creatively about the future. Before joining BCG in 2003, he earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and an honors BSc from McGill University in mathematics and management. Iny lives in New York with his wife and daughter.
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Top Customer Reviews
What, exactly, is this 'box' that I am supposed to think outside of? de brabandere and Iny postulate that the box is actually a mental model we have and embedded in this is all manner of assumptions, opinions, conjectures and beliefs. In other words, all our thinking is contextual. We ALWAYS think in a context and this is shaped by our life experience and the conditionings we have been subject to.
Since the context is the box and we think in contexts the way to be creative is to Think in New Boxes and hence the title of the book. Neat way of looking at it but not an earth shattering revelation. What makes the book valuable is that they go into greater detail. It is difficult to think outside the box and virtually impossible to do so on command. They show you many different ways of creating new boxes. For example, complete the sentence "An example of a bird is..." Odds are that you could do this easily and you drew from a sample of names you knew were birds like eagle or sparrow.
Now complete the sentence "A bird is an example of..." Now it gets more complicated. Did you come up with 'flying creature'? Or 'feathered animal'? How about 'something I like to roast and eat'? (UGH!)
The former is an example of deductive reasoning and the latter of inductive reasoning and the latter generally gives you richer and different ways of looking at any situation. It helps you create new boxes more easily.
The authors show you how you create boxes and you do this with limited data. Which company, for example, does not belong in this list: Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, American Express, Pfizer?Read more ›
1. Doubt Everything
2. Probe the Possible
5. Reevaluate Relentlessly
The book is around 300 pages and covers such points as:
1. Any idea, no matter how brilliant, will eventually need to be replaced.
2. Deductive vs. inductive thinking.
3. Creativity is possible when you are humble about your existing approach to thinking about things.
4. 3 essential tasks for opening your mind for creativity.
5. The best way to find solutions is to generate a range of possibilities and test them instead of just trying to confirm your first hypothesis.
6. Most of our "aha" moments come when we soak in as much information as possible instead of depending on "pie in the sky" notions.
7. Using divergence (overcoming discomfort) to stretch yourself and see new perspectives.
8. Using convergence to prioritize decisions to work on the best ideas yo have developed.
9. Suggestions for getting insights from your customers that can help your business.
10. Be sure to consistently evaluate how your way of thinking helps you or may hold you back.
11. Examples of businesses using creativity.
The authors, well-educated and possessing several years of business experience, thankfully write in an engaging and easily understandable style.
Good read for anyone needing suggestions or ways of looking at things in a business setting (although it could be used in other areas of life also).
Thinking in new boxes replaces thinking outside the box. It annihilates "outside the box," and we're better off this way. Nobody has to be told anymore to start thinking outside the box. If the first box was defined, the next one can be and so on until there's no extraterrestrial thoughts behind the curtain.
"Think in a new box" simply means to use at least one of the processes discovered/identified by the authors to go beyond where we were when we were stuck in some respect. These processes are accessible to all and there's no justification for remaining stuck indefinitely. The processes require doing what is not easy to do, namely to remain professionally skeptical, to generate options when we don't feel it necessary, and to keep practicing the process no matter what.
The authors work fairly exclusively with innovation with clients. Their credentials are impressive: Luc De Brabandere leads strategic seminars in the Paris office of The Boston Consulting Group with boards and executives to develop "new visions, new products, services and long-term scenarios to prepare for the future". He has written nine books. Co-author Alan Iny is the global topic expert for creativity and scenario planning at The Boston Consulting Group based in New York. This isn't just beautiful theory for the authors - they deal with the messy reality of innovation and guiding clients through it.
This book teaches strategic creativity or "thinking in new boxes". This involves embracing complexity, navigating uncertainty and preparing for the inevitable disruptions. It is a creative process they stress. Boxes they define as mental models. Thinking in new boxes is more than just "thinking out of the box." Their process joins "pragmatic analysis with the free-flowing generation of ideas" they tell us.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Practical an applicable. Should be on the shelf of every manager and entrepreneur.Published 1 day ago by Balazs Borbely de Roff
Worth trying. It proposes a new way to explore product development, and to develop creativity inside organizations.Published 2 months ago by Remus
A wonderful addition to my library. I discovered Luc Brabandere on Coursera.org in a course on the Philosophy of Management, which draws from thsi book and another of his. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Richard Tucker
Great content. Amazing on-line course by Luc be Brabandere at Coursera on the same subject.
As a pair the course+the book it is exciting. Read more
If you want change the way you see your business, your things, read this.Published 16 months ago by charlos
This is a comprehensive and entertaining book, aimed at stimulating ideas on creativity.
We are all familiar with the expression "think outside the box", but... Read more