rubix cube

Why You Should Stop Thinking Outside the Box

…And Transform the Box

As I prepare to move into a new house, I begin to think a lot about boxes. Small boxes for books, medium boxes for glassware, large boxes for quilts, etc. It made me begin thinking about the purpose of these boxes – objects to protect and transport things from one place to another.

Then, I heard someone on the radio say something about “thinking outside the box” and I started to laugh. It struck me how much of a pain it would be if there were no boxes- if everything had to be moved by hand. Imagine carrying every piece of your house from one place to another. Think of the time it would take, the effort of walking up and down all of those stairs with handfuls of toys, the wear and tear to your body (my back in particular), the piles of items that amass as you drop things here and there and go back for the next handful. Honestly, I would decide it wasn’t worth it and never move at all.

This idea holds true for business as well. All business is moving something from one place to another. Whether it’s a product or a service, it is the act of delivering something to a customer. Processes are activities performed to achieve a purpose. The processes of a company are its boxes. They are the things that transport everything from here to there. Whether it’s a widget or an idea, it is the manner things move to accomplish your business objectives.

When people start chatting about thinking outside the box, they are really saying they do not have the correct box. Like tools, the right box, or process, can make all the difference. The wrong box can make things more difficult, or literally prevent you from completing your goal. If you have ever packed books, you know you can get a lot in a big box – but you may not be able to move it without breaking the packaging (or your back).

If your processes are not helping you to achieve your goals, you need a new process. Thinking outside the box, or your processes, is just accepting the fact you have the wrong ones in place. It allows you to address a symptom without understanding the root cause of why something isn’t working. This usually causes more problems, and just like moving things by hand from a house, everyone gets frustrated and no one wants to move anymore.

This reason is why we at Statera focus on operations optimization. Whether you wish to automate activities, utilize new technologies, improve customer and employee engagement, or just make everything better, it starts by understanding your processes – your boxes, and seeing if they are really the right ones to transport your business from here to there.

Take the time to make the right box – to fix your processes, to support your goals. When you get the right activities aligned to support your business, you will be surprised at the focus, transparency and agility this will provide. A box is an incredibly useful thing – when you take the time to pick the right one.

More Change Management Resources:

Learn more about the benefits of change in a corporation.

Read about the 3 Steps to a Successful Change Management Process here.

About Mark Eckert

Mark Eckert is a seasoned management consulting executive with extensive business and project management experience gained over a variety of corporate projects and roles (including business oversight and management, executive mentoring, business process engineering, software development, system integration, organizational realignment, user adoption, mergers and acquisitions).

Mark has a 20 year track record of successfully delivering strategic business transformation projects in both Fortune 500 and small, high-growth companies. Mark has received various certifications in project management, process analysis and ITIL.