ASK ALAN: The Importance of “Outside the Box” Thinking
Are YOU Using (Creative) Outside the Box Thinking? You Should!
Are YOU being creative and using outside the box thinking? Today’s staggering number of choices and our diverse economy demands outside-the-box thinking. Why? It can make the difference between success and failure. “Average” was once the guide used to determine marketing targets. Today, there’s no such thing as “one-size fits all.” This is a tough concept for many entrepreneurs and small business owners to accept.
A staggering amount of change
Most are still reeling from the staggering amount of change experienced during the past ten years. The explosion of technology and use of social media have caused our lives to become more complex than ever before. All of this makes the level of competition for a single prospect’s attention…mind boggling. Sellers must stand out to be noticed today.
Linear thinking is no longer viable
To be clear, I’m not talking simply of businesses selling products or services. I’m referring to all types of businesses. Your business, the service organizations you belong to, and even job seekers are forced to consider new and creative ways to reach their audience. Organizations, regardless of size, need to think in strategic ways rather than linear. The ideal culture of an organization is one that has vision, mission and values all in alignment. A cultural environment where everyone owns a piece of the customer is known as “Customer-centric.”
Outside the box is more meaningful today than ever before
Many believe that, thinking outside-the-box is an old and outdated phrase. However, it is more meaningful and applicable today, then ever before.
- Nontraditional, unconventional or a different way of looking at a problem or situation
- Getting away from your comfort zone
- Taking a risk
- Making yourself, product or service stand out from the rest
It does NOT mean TO GIVE UP ALL COMMON SENSE!
A few examples that work
- Businesses that give employees control over their time, team technique and tasks. In many situations this results in workers becoming more effective.
- Highly competitive professional services like CPA’s, law firms, financial planners and realtors…building community relationships and differentiating themselves in the marketplace.
- Any type of business can get creative. Today’s customer expects more than a brochure…they want to get to know you and your company.
A fresh perspective
Many senior managers have discovered ways to better manage in today’s chaotic marketplace. They have turned outside the business to retain specialists. Specialists like business coaches, consultants even contracting with mystery shopping organizations, for FRESH EYES. FRESH EYES equal a fresh perspective.
Often businesses have difficulty with this concept because they lack a culture that encourages a “blame-free environment.” To be successful and thrive today, outside-the-box thinking is critical. It offers the best hope for meeting today’s current and future market trends as well as customer and employee expectations. Rest assured that if you’re not willing to use creative outside the box thinking” your competition will! With fresh eyes and the desire for greatness, results follow!
Have a question? Ask Alan…
If you have a small business question email it to Alan: firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions may be combined and answered in an upcoming column of “Ask Alan!”
Alan Adler is an Executive Coach, Business Consultant & Speaker. He’s worked for Westinghouse Broadcasting, as a producer/director and with senior management at AT&T, as a corporate spokesperson. Additionally, Alan has been an entrepreneur, creating and growing his own business, Alan Adler & Associates. As a result, he knows management, media and marketing. Alan specializes in helping entrepreneurs through mid-sized businesses, improve profitability. He lives in Huntersville, NC with his wife Mindy. They have two grown children, two grandchildren, and a rescue dog named Bentley.