I had a brief exchange of tweets with Ram Manohar Tiwari ( @rmtiwari on twitter ) recently on out of the box thinking , and since then a lot of thoughts have been brewing in my mind about this .
Everyone I know in corporate circles is a fan of “out of the box” . I don’t think a day has passed in my working life these past few years without someone mentioning it explicitly . It almost gives me an impression that there is this huge big box , full of regular joes like me – and a handful of smart people who stand outside and try their best to get us on their side .
My view on this matter is that there is no such thing as “out of the box”. People maybe able to get out of “A” box , but they will be in “some box” all the time . And because people are different from each other – most people should be able to tell others to get out of the box . All they can do is get out of their current box, get into a box with more space , and when that box fills up – then jump to yet another box .
Some times you might even have to visit the box you were in earlier – the one that you took pains to get out . If you need an example : think of people moving out of mainframes and now going to a similar model in cloud computing 🙂
I also doubt we are just in one box at a time – my feeling is that we are at the intersection of several ones at any point in time . This makes me claustrophobic just thinking about it . This is also the reason getting out if a box is hard – it is like a relational DB. All the dependencies need to be taken care off before you whack a table 🙂
All things considered , I now think teams will have more success by making use of diversity in its members than making a homogeneous team try hard to get out of the boxes they are in .
I think I have sufficiently bored you by now . If you need to be “un-bored”, try some out of the box thinking ….NOT