Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What do you expect from authentic “Leaders and Thinkers” that think outside the box? Why think outside the box...?

What are your expectations from a professional group, especially this one that emphasizes on authentic “Leaders and Thinkers” that think outside the box? Why do you think that thinking outside the box is a sine qua non for changing our world for good? What wrong with the status quo?
If you enjoy this group, kindly invite other likeminded thinking leaders to join today.

Invite others with this:
“If you are a leader that thinks outside the box and believe that authentic leadership is not a position but a choice, and if you not already a member, you may want to join the emerging great Leaders and Thinkers (L&T) at “



  1. Benjamin,

    To me, "Outside The Box" means innovative thinking or in simple terms, the road not traveled.

    Progress means taking a risk and trying something new that may bring extraordinary results. Sometimes it takes a different approach to solve problems. Typically using a tried and proven method will get you there, but with average results. A different approach may open up new opportunities not originally noticeable by going the 'Safe Way". What you thought was the safe way.

    For example: Most people travel down the same road back and forth to work every day. They have lived the road and know all of it's potholes and danger spots. Then one day, the road is all backed up and you are stuck there in traffic. Imagine if you decided on a Friday afternoon one day, that you felt like an explorer and wanted to know how efficient an alternative route might be. So you try the road, you even knew where about it would take you, but you did not want to travel that route because you felt it would take you longer.

    What usually happens is the new adventure turns out to be a better route than the usual commuter route. The ride is less stressful, the road is in better condition, the view is much better. So by taking a different path, may in fact lead you to a better solution. On this new path, there may be a new shopping mall you never knew existed. You might even find a shop there that you found to fit your shopping needs.

    You never know where the "Outside The Box" path will take you exactly, but most times, it's worth the marginal risk.

  2. When I went to high school, things were simple. Our goofball culture divided the student body into three or so groups; there were jocks, greasers and nerds. That was a long time ago. Students are much more independ now, much more capable of "belonging" to so many other groups... and rest assured, the "culture" has a name for each of these new groups as well. But as I listen carefully to one of my kids, I hear there's a group of kids who refuse to be part of the well worn path, who refuse to be thrust into any of the established and recognized groups, who refuse to go long with the norm created by tradition and legacy. Ironically enough, a name has evolved for these kids, they're called "Indies" (independents). They apparently have their own fresh and different look. They have even have their own music (its even identified as a group on itunes). They're proud and self-proclaimed Indies.


    Does "outside the box" eventually become well entrenched inside the box? Is the box rigid, or is it not dynamic and flexible, and ultimately consumes and incorporates the fresh and new? The quest is simply put, to come up with new approaches and new ideas. Oft times, the trend, unfortunately, is for one entity to find a new path (outside the box) and then for others to follow in lock-step, singing the "out of the box" theme song, and behaving smugly with self-aggrandized arrogance and misplaced confidence. The challenge is to remain constantly innovative, bold and fresh! Following great leaders closely is not a bad thing... but it pales when compared to the rush and impact of actually BEING a leader.

  3. I've often stayed away from the term 'outside the box' as it imposes limits on thinking or discussion. As a figure of speech OTB is banal or jaded. I prefer instead to think of limitless ideas synergizing into countless solution sets forming a cloud of possibilities instead of a geographical figure.

    When I think of Leaders and Thinkers, including myself, there is the ability to make an impact on others and the organization. As someone once said, "it's easy to lead on a sunny path with no obstacles, a true leader's skills are shown on stormy days creating a path where none existed before."

    Quite often in group settings I purposely throw out ideas that are 'tanget' or 'off the mark' using them as a catalyst to grow other ideas already in play. Rarely is a 100% solution developed out of thin air, rather it is grown, shaped, molded and improved upon by the group, the leader all the while urging everyone to participate and take ownership.

    The results are startling as the leader has wittingly inspired all to take part in the creative process. Of course this works best with a mature team that is able to work tirelessly without taking inputs as personal criticism. The leader has to work behind the scenes motivating his colleagues to exceed beyond their individual efforts focusing on team or company oriented solutions. Thus the leader has 'made' everyone around him 'better'. What bigger impact could one person have than that?

  4. What we see is determined by what we are looking for. Having tried to convince people to look at things my way has never worked so instead I have found the best way for me to help someone is to find those who are looking for something different but need help finding it. Through their success others will want to know what they are doing differently and that is when real change can happen.

  5. Howard, I loved your comment. I'm a great believer of conversations that start with "What if. . ." To me that is the best start for an authentic dialogue that can go to places we can not imagine. That is the basis to most of what I do. It was great to hear you state it too.

    True Benjamin, we do have to deal with the boxes that other people perceive are there. However, if instead of trying to "deal" with it, we just invite them to a different type of conversation and way of thinking, there is a type of synergy that happens, bringing lots of energy to the room and opening the way for creativity and innovation.

    Great discussion. I'm enjoying it!

    Ada Gonzalez, Ph.D.
    President, Logos Noesis

  6. Indeed Howard, i don't think you were entirely that far off the beaten dot in suggesting 'one large cellular conference call,' for can one not consider the internet a limitless, 'out-of-the-box', concrete v. creative template that both searches and is searched by leaders and thinkers.

    are we not all here participating in this discussion, one of, say, a few thousand available conferencing discussions between international innovative thinkers on LinkedIn groups who were once confined to thier geographical boxes, but are now no longer defined by any boundary per se. we are, in fact, engaging in the very thing you are referring to. we are meandering around with a conceptual theme in cyberspace. for those of us not comfortable outside the box, we can consider the servers as being the imaginary '9 dot' touch points, i suppose.

    one characteristic of great leadership is identifying simplicity in complexity - i.e., synthesizing ideas and precipitating actions that create homeostasis. knowing when to adjust the contrast on a situation to reveal the negative exposure, thereby revealing the pertinent questions to be asked and answered, is the mark of a great thinker/leader. those hidden questions will be outside of the box. questions already asked and answered will have been contained in the box and reflected in a discernable image consistent with the present operation of the system as a whole.

  7. David Livingstone .. the famous african missionary once stated when responding to a question about why it was so difficult for others to go to Africa with him said..

    'beaten paths are for beaten people'!



    Real leaders and thinkers don't acknowledge a box.

    But they have to deal with the boxes that the people around them perceive exist.

    Lisa C. Clark, MBA
    Founder, Thinker Clothing(tm).
    Global Consumer/Tech Marketer/Visionary Leader: Branding, Research, Channels, Biz Dev

  9. Majority follows the set patterns. Steoreo type works well in boom but world is in flux. Technological advancements are always there. This fact calls for smart thinking to align with new developments. These developments make the old patterns obsolete and call for innovative thinking. In words of Bernard Shaw "There are two kinds of people: reasonable people and unreasonable people. Reasonable people adapt themselves to system and unreasonable do not. Therefore, all progress depends on unreasonable people."

    The permanence of change calls for original thinking to tackle the issues.

  10. If you do not acknowledge a "box" than there is no need to feel constrained as a leader or an individual thinker.

    Gabe Andrews

  11. For me, the answer to your question lies in leadership with a higher level of consciousness. This means a willingness to be aware of, accept and investigate one's own habitual thoughts/beliefs. Only when one is willing to do this will they remain open to and indeed create new possibilities--rather than blindly accepting the old and worn-out modes of thought/belief... or even fighting against them to "figure" something new--which many do.

    It is the difference between being "awake" and "asleep" (using my teaching terms). And...interestingly--the majority deem themselves awake when in truth--they are more asleep than they realize. Awake simply means that one makes conscious choices with full awareness of the consequences. Asleep means that one makes unconscious choices out of rote habit and repetition. They tend to think, feel and do the same things...or a close version of the same thing.The awake individual asks the better questions, sees themselves differently/more honestly and will create an openness of new possibilities in others as well.

    The terms awake and asleep are not judgments or criticisms...merely a description of our level of awareness at any given time.

  12. By the way, trivia question--

    Who said,

    "What luck for rulers, that men do not think."?