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Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity
Synopses & Reviews
To thrive in a world of accelerating change, creativity is paramount. But most organizations fail to make the kinds of imaginative leaps to ensure long-term success. Enter Thinking in New Boxes, a revolutionary road map for sustainable creativity, written by two strategic innovation experts from The Boston Consulting Group.
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. Yet thinking “out of the box” is not the answer. Our brains don’t work that way. True ingenuity needs structure. It needs new boxes that balance self-awareness with hard analysis and bold brainstorming.
This innovative book challenges everything you thought you knew about business creativity—and provides a practical way to achieve it. Thinking in New Boxes is not just a process, it is a mindset that can help you sustain success in business as well as in life.
Case in point: BIC started as a stationery company and purveyor of popular low-cost ballpoint pens. Business was healthy, but BIC wanted to grow. Had BIC thought of itself as a “pen” company, it might have focused solely on expanding its range of pens with new colors, new sizes, and new price points. But one executive perceived a new box. BIC was not in the pen business, it was in the “inexpensive disposable plastic items” business. With this breakthrough change to a different box, the company opened its eyes to a host of new opportunities—disposable lighters, razors, and even precharged mobile phones. BIC and its sales soared.
This groundbreaking guide takes a radically new approach to the business of creativity by breaking it down into five simple steps. First, doubt everything: Step away from your comfort zone and challenge your perceptions and prejudices. Second, probe the possible: Reexamine the world, not so that you can determine the right answers but so that you can ask the right questions. Third, divergence: Discover a plethora of fun, easy-to-implement exercises designed to help you and your team generate many new and exciting ideas. Fourth, convergence: Evaluate, prioritize, and select the ideas that will drive breakthrough results. And last, reevaluate relentlessly: Foster a new kind of creative process that is not only practical but also sustainable. No good idea is good forever.
Packed with interactive games, visualization tools, and creativity boosters, Thinking in New Boxes empowers you to tailor the five steps to your own needs, both personal and professional. You’ll find fascinating real-world case studies—from Netflix and Qwikster to Ford and Trader Joe’s. You’ll learn to overcome missed creative opportunities and to avoid them in the future. And you will discover how to stay ahead of the curve. This isn’t a simpleminded checklist. This is the discipline of sustainable creativity. This is Thinking in New Boxes.
About the Author
Luc de Brabandere is a fellow and a senior advisor in the Paris office of the Boston Consulting Group. He leads strategic seminars with boards, senior executives, and management from a wide range of companies looking to develop new visions, new products and services, and long-term scenarios to prepare for the future. He is the author or co-author of nine books, including The Forgotten Half of Change: Achieving Greater Creativity through Changes in Perception, and a regular columnist for various newspapers in France and Belgium. Prior to joining BCG, he was the general manager of the Brussels Stock Exchange.
Alan Iny is the global topic expert for creativity and scenario planning at the Boston Consulting Group, based in the New York office. He has trained hundreds of executives and BCG consultants, and facilitated a wide range of workshops across industries, on topics related to bringing creative approaches to business. Iny received his MBA from Columbia Business School and holds an honors BSc in mathematics and management from McGill University.
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