Think Outside The Box…
Is a horrendous saying. You know why? Everything outside the box is vast and infinite. The possibilities are endless, however, your energy and time isn’t. Instead of thinking ‘outside’ you should be thinking ‘with’ the box.
Focus On The Box
What’s actually more productive is setting up your box – focusing on what you need to create or the problem you need to solve. Knowing what you’re suppose to do will help you hone your mental and physical energy. This way, you avoid being the headless chicken and going all over the place. Once you’ve chiseled out your framework you can double down your energy to get better results.
But wait. Its not enough to be one ‘with’ the box, you have to fill it with quicksand and step in.
That’s right. One of these but with the sinking sand you’ve seen in one of those cheesy sci-fi movies.
Learning from Cars
Before I sink us into the quicksand analogy, let me share a story about the car industry.
The day I write this post, the world’s three largest automakers will be General Motors, Toyota and Ford. Dialing the calendar back to the 50’s, no one would have ever thought Toyota would even scratch this list.
In the 50’s, the world just came out of the second world war. The Japanese had lost and were rebuilding their commercial industry. While the big American companies (Ford, GM, Chrysler) were selling the heck out of their cars, the Japanese were innovating on every single aspect of the car making process. I especially remember one story where the Japanese were testing a few ways to build factories vertically instead of horizontally because they didn’t have much land to build on. Genius! As the 80’s approached, the Japanese were able to make cars faster, cheaper and of higher quality. The world bought in.
Today, Toyota ranks top 3 in the world and if you take a look at other stats, most of the top 10 is now dominated by other Japanese brands and now we are seeing Korean along with German cars.
The morale of the story is that the Japanese were in the quicksand. If they couldn’t climb out fast enough they would have sank to the bottom and died. 30 years seems like a long time but with each passing year they grew and it helped them win.
The quicksand is the time pressure to survive, motivate and hustle. Because of the quicksand they were able to not only survive but dominate the car playing field.
Where’s your quicksand and sandbox?
While the sandbox is there to help you outline the creativity and innovation framework, where is your time pressure to survive, stay motivated and hustle? Where is your quicksand to fill the sandbox?
Outlines are the sandbox. Deadline’s are the quicksand. Create the box and fill it.