Thinking outside the box may hinder your business.

Mindblow Agency
4 min readApr 26, 2023

Why the often sought-after practice is a double-edged sword

Different thinking is a highly valued quality in the corporate world these days. And how can it not be? The unique look, giving unconventional ideas, inventing a different approach that has not been implemented before, are just some of the possible applies of such a widespread approach — “Thinking outside the box”. Logically, this is quite often a sought-after way to stimulate creative and working processes in a number of companies. In this article, the point of view is broken through the prism of an advertising agency, but the applied logic applies to many industries and companies.

At first glance, thinking outside the box seems like a harmless way by which a person or group of people is incentivized to bypass the already trampled path to generate a new idea in order to improve the current situation. Implementing this concept can help create a sales incentive strategy, a customer marketing concept, an advertising concept and much more, but its main goal is to go beyond that anyway. In fact, however, this way of thinking may not turn out to be so nice.

If we think real, every business’s aspiration is to frame things. yes, that’s right. Companies have a specific target audience, have a strictly specific niche in which they operate, goals that are strictly fixed over time, and limited or precisely allocated capital. More generally, every business function in the company strives to limit and frame every action in it through a specific resource — time, capital, effort, etc. Every single thing must be calculated and predictable. It is precisely because of this fact that corporate plans, strategies and key performance indicators (KPIs) are being made.

By thinking outside the box in terms of the corporate framework, deviations can be obtained that harm the business. These deviations can be divided into three main groups:

1. First of all, thinking outside the box carries a risk that in most cases is not noticeable. By generating new, different and bold ideas, they often sound so good at first glance that their createers tend to try them without thinking. However, this experience can lead the company to deviate from the specific goal, to spend more money than planned or to cost time…

2. It is time that is the second main factor of deviation through unconventional thinking in companies. A significant amount of time may be wasted in “testing” new ideas that, after launch, prove to be in contrast to corporate goals or much more difficult and resource-intensive to implement than desired. Time is a key factor for any company, and the loss of time going in the wrong direction can cost a company a delay from the schedule and a lot of funds, respectively.

3. Last but not least comes the end product of different thinking. When ideas are given outside the framework, the initial framework constraints that are set by default in the overall corporate concept often do not take into account. In this case, the creators of the “different” idea significantly deviate from the originally defined endpoint. This leads to one single thing — creating an idea, product or service that the end user (recipient) did not need.

This method can be extremely useful, but it also hides a lot of underwater stones if the people who manage the process are not familiar with the specifics and mostly do not take specific actions to avoid possible deviations.

In order for the process of thinking outside the box to be as effective as possible, it must be fixed according to the parameters already mentioned — time, capital and goals. This will help the people involved to explicitly know what time frame they have, to what extent they can spread their ideas in terms of funds and what is the main goal for the company or the specific action for which a different solution is sought. Another measure to support this process is the use of a mediator who, during the generation of the ideas themselves, assesses their “deviation” and if they are dissonanced with any of the pre-ly-counted frames. Thus, you will be able to get a more effective process of thinking outside the box, which will give a precisely sought-after result by preliminary definition.

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Mindblow Agency

We won’t bore you to death with small talk. We’ll just let the work do the talking and let’s hope you have an eye for design and creative direction.