For years I have heard managers and leaders say we need an ‘out of the box’ idea.

This got me thinking in my role as a workshop and Strategic Planning Facilitator  — how would you know if an idea was out of the box if you did not know what the box is?

Hence I created a new creativity tool which I called The Mindset Box.

The starting point is to actually make explicit what the ‘box’ is. If you can do this then you can stretch or overturn it.

In my language the ‘box’ is our collective mindset.

The starting point is to work out your A, B, C, & E’s of the collective mindset of the group or team (i.e. your assumptions, beliefs, conventions, & experiences).

Remember there is no right or wrong just what you and others believe or assume etc.

‘A’ stands for Assumptions:

For example when we are thinking about meetings;

– We assume that people coming together can achieve more than someone working alone and

– There is some reason why a meeting has been called

‘B’ stands for Beliefs:

– We believe that saying no to a meeting request might make you appear not to be a team player

– We believe that being a team player is an important quality

‘C’ stands for Conventions (i.e. the rules of the game that everyone seems to follow):

– With a meeting the convention is that it lasts for 1 hour

– There is an agenda and a meeting leader (usually the senior person)

‘E’ stand for Experience (i.e. our mutual experiences with meetings):

– Meetings are often slow, time consuming and often ineffective.

A valuable way of designing a new way to meet therefore would be to make the ‘ABCE’ of meetings explicit (i.e. the meeting mindset box).

This is the creativity tool I used to invent Ideas Blitz.

You can see how I have stretched or overturned the ABCE of meetings and a breakthrough tool for groups and teams.

For example:

– An Ideas Blitz is  from 2 to 20 minutes (not an hour).

– There is only 1 item (not multiple agenda items).

– There are 1 – 6 people (not a cast of hundreds)

– Anyone can call a Blitz on any topic and is still accountable for the challenge (rather than with a meeting only the senior person typically calls a meeting and the group is responsible).

If you want to try Blitzing register now. It is free, quick and you and up to 6 others can start generating big, new ideas in minutes!

The key lesson?

If you want to create an ‘out of the box’ idea you need to make your mindset box explicit otherwise you are doomed to create new ideas that can only live within the boundaries of your mindset.

In my facilitation sessions, the Mindset Box tool it is the first onel I use with a group as it gets out all of our collective barriers on the table. By doing we can stretch or break free of them.

The good news is that most of these limitations are not permanent and can be stretched and overturned — just as I have done with Blitz.

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