Inside-The-Box Creative Decision Making
by: Thomas McKee
Think outside-the-box! How many times have you been told to think outside-the-box. But the last time you thought outside-the-box you got fired, disciplined, or thrown in jail. What is all this out-side-the box decision making?
|Just what box are you
supposed to think outside of?
Four boxes often frame our decisions and one important skill of creative-decision-making is figuring out which boxes are legitimate and which are confining.
The largest decision frame is the law. The laws of our country, state, county and city form a framework with one major guiding principlehuman rights. Our country was founded on the principles of freedomhuman freedom.
Inside the law frame is another box called "values." Personal and corporate values frame our decisions. Our generation, our gender, our ethnic background, our education, our religion, and our experience shape our values.
A third frame is the corporate culture. Southwest Airlines changed their corporate culture when they switched from a 40-minute turn around at the gate to a 20-minute turn around. Do we have corporate-culture frames that box us in?
Another box is our sacred cows. Some systems become so successful that people are afraid to challenge them. They become sacred cows. Do you recognize this word?
It is commonly called the Qwerty configurationa system that was created in the 1870s by Shoels and Companya typewriter company. Typists were typing so fast that the keys were sticking, so engineers figured out a configuration to slow the operator down.
However, since that solution to an 1870s problem, word processing technology has far surpassed the speed of the fastest typists. But who is going to change this configuration? Once a system gets in place, its almost impossible to eliminate even though the original reason for its creation no longer exists.
Outside-the-box or Inside-the-box, which is it? It depends on which box you are talking about.
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