When BIC, manufacturer of disposable ballpoint pens, wanted to grow, it looked for an idea beyond introducing new sizes and ink colors. Someone suggested lighters.
With an idea that seemed crazy at first, that bright executive, instead of seeing BIC as a pen company—a business in the PEN “box”—figured out that there was growth to be found in the DISPOSABLE “box.” And he was right. Now there are disposable BIC lighters, razors, even phones. The company opened its door to a host of opportunities.
IT INVENTED A NEW BOX.
Your business can, too. And simply thinking “out of the box” is not the answer. True ingenuity needs structure, hard analysis, and bold brainstorming. It needs to start
THINKING IN NEW BOXES
—a revolutionary process for sustainable creativity from two strategic innovation experts from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
To make sense of the world, we all rely on assumptions, on models—on what Luc de Brabandere and Alan Iny call “boxes.” If we are unaware of our boxes, they can blind us to risks and opportunities.
This innovative book challenges everything you thought you knew about business creativity by breaking creativity down into five steps:
• Doubt everything. Challenge your current perspectives.
• Probe the possible. Explore options around you.
• Diverge. Generate many new and exciting ideas, even if they seem absurd.
• Converge. Evaluate and select the ideas that will drive breakthrough results.
• Reevaluate. Relentlessly. No idea is a good idea forever. And did we mention Reevaluate? Relentlessly.
Creativity is paramount if you are to thrive in a time of accelerating change. Replete with practical and potent creativity tools, and featuring fascinating case studies from BIC to Ford to Trader Joe’s, Thinking in New Boxes will help you and your company overcome missed opportunities and stay ahead of the curve.
This book isn’t a simpleminded checklist. This is Thinking in New Boxes.
And it will be fun. (We promise.)
Praise for Thinking in New Boxes
“Excellent . . . While focusing on business creativity, the principles in this book apply anywhere change is needed and will be of interest to anyone seeking to reinvent herself.”—Blogcritics
“Thinking in New Boxes is a five-step guide that leverages the authors’ deep understanding of human nature to enable readers to overcome their limitations and both imagine and create their own futures. This book is a must-read for people living and working in today’s competitive environment.”—Ray O. Johnson, Ph.D., chief technology officer, Lockheed Martin
“Thinking In New Boxes discusses what I believe to be one of the fundamental shifts all companies/brands need to be thinking about: how to think creatively, in order to innovate and differentiate our brands. We need to thrive and lead in a world of accelerating change and this book challenges us to even greater creativity in our thinking. One of the best business books I’ve read in a long time.”—Jennifer Fox, CEO, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
“As impressive as teaching new tricks to old dogs, Thinking in New Boxes is both inspirational and practical—a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to sharpening one’s wits in order to harness creativity in the workplace.”—Peter Gelb, general manager, Metropolitan Opera
Categorizing information is part of human nature, but in today's rapidly evolving business climate, "pre-wired ways of thinking" can threaten an enterprise's very survival. Boston Consulting Group executives Brabandare (The Forgotten Half of Change) and Iny suggest that thinking "outside the box" defies our natural tendencies and suggest that leaders, instead, should think "in the box," but with a new mindset. In this entertaining and transformative work, the authors provide a framework and structure for creative thinking that even traditionalists can embrace. Through five steps doubt everything, probe the possible, diverge, converge, and reevaluate relentlessly they propose a sustainable creative process that will serve an organization in the long-term. Using examples from their research, consulting projects, and from major companies, the concepts come to life. Readers see how Generali Insurance, a 200-year-old Italian firm, used off-sites, interactive exercises, and brainteasers to create an Internet strategy, and how Netflix used reevaluation to reenvision and reinvigorate its business model. The book is both academically rigorous and highly accessible, with call-out graphics, charts, and optical illusions adding visual interest and illustrating concepts. Informative and practical, this is a must-read for anyone in a leadership position who dares to look at the world in new ways.