Many leaders say that they think outside the box while they're standing in it. It's not that they're being disingenuous, it's just that the term has been used so much that it's lost much of its meaning. So how do you know whether you're genuinely outside the box? Here are a some key questions you can ask yourself to explore your perspective:
- What have I done today that is different from what I've done before?
- In what ways have I encouraged and supported my employees to think and behave differently?
- In what ways have I worked on my own workplace thoughts and behaviors recently?
- What is my standard way of doing things and what might I do differently to move in a new direction?
- What new ways of doing things have I come up with recently?
- What's unique about me and my leadership approach?
- In what ways am I using my unique talents and abilities and encouraging others to do the same?
- What do I think about the rule book?
- What have I created recently?
- In what ways do I encourage creativity in the workplace?
- How have I broadened my horizons recently?
- How small does my workplace feel?
- How do I deal with people who don't share my vision or approach?
- What occurs when new people come into my workplace?
- What do I do to deal with unforeseen events?
- In what ways do I tend to others' needs?
- How much of my work life is focused on my own needs?
- In what ways do I make the workplace a better place for others?
- Do people notice and talk to me about my outside the box approach?
- In what ways have I made myself and others uncomfortable in order to grow?
- What are my thoughts on change?
- What do I do with outside ideas?
- What do rules mean to me?
- How many solutions are there to any given problem?
- What's important in the workplace?
- What do I do to encourage people to motivate themselves from within?
- Who am I?
- If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, what does it mean to my workplace?
Thinking outside the box provides you with an amazing opportunity to welcome new ideas and build a highly functional, responsive and dynamic workplace. You'll know you're thinking expansively because you'll get stuck less and you'll have access to a larger pool of information. You'll be more flexible and adaptable to any challenge that comes your way. What will you do to think outside the box?