Real Outcomes Tailored for You

Case Study

ARE YOU THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX? MAYBE YOU’RE STILL IN ONE

Posted on , in HOW TO and ANALOGIES & STORIES, by

We all feel creativity, innovation, new thinking, etc. are a good thing in life and business. We often use the term “thinking outside of the box” to summarise this process.

But what is the box? And when are we thinking outside of it?

Some years ago I was on a high. I was the CEO of a large national organisation that was thriving and had a great executive team. We were growing annually at a great rate and all indicators were good. Our teamwork was good and we had our collective heads comprehensively around all the issues and our success was showing it.

One day, I was chatting with the Duke of Edinburgh…(hows that for name dropping? Ive been trying for years to drop that statement into a conversation… thanks for reading!).  Anyway… I was prattling on to the Duke about our great expansion and success, feeling very proud, and very creative.

The Duke listened graciously for a few minutes and then smiled nicely and said…

“Have you tried looking at…xxx?”

Confidently I responded and started to explain why that wouldn’t work… certain that my knowledgeable, expert, great team (and great me!) had thought it all through and had the answers…

Besides, what would an old naval officer who has spent most of his life walking one pace behind his wife know about modern business reality!

He listened to my “defence” for about 3.5 milliseconds before his face went blank, he turned his head, found the person standing beside me so overwhelmingly more interesting, and moved off.

I was left standing there… sort of wishing a hole would open in the floor so I could just fall into it.

A couple of years later, our progress was slowing and we were plateauing in growth. The Executive group was gathered and brains were straining…

Then one of them came up with an idea… Immediately, the others acclaimed it as creative and “outside the box” and the solution that we needed.

Me? I just wanted to find that hole in the floor again…

It was exactly the idea the Duke of Edinburgh had suggested!

Blog Post Unique Team Building - Thinking outside the box, The view from the Royal Box: H.R.H The Duke of Edinburgh: Prince Phillip
The view from the Royal Box: H.R.H The Duke of Edinburgh: Prince Phillip

 

There were two lessons that lodged permanently in my head from that experience.

  1. First, despite my own brilliance and wisdom and the great team I had around me, we simply didn’t have a monopoly on all ideas and all perspectives. We were in fact more inside a certain box of thinking than we realised.  And the more thorough and more comprehensive and more creative we were, the more convinced we were that we were not in a box… but we were.
  2. The other lesson was…  new ideas or inspirations are often to be found in situations or through people who are clearly and demonstrably not inside that box… And a Royal Prince from the UK pretty well fitted that description!

So where is that next new great idea going to come from. Good chance it will come from your own skilled and knowledgeable creative self or colleagues… BUT… if your eyes are open and mind receptive and hungry, it just might come from… a school kid, or an old woman on the streets, or a politicians speech, or a competitor, you never know.

Conclusion

It’s simple.. the world is full of ideas. Your job is to see them and convert them into effective reality…

BEWARE of the box… once you’re in it its hard to see what’s outside of it.

Dr Garry Richards OAM FAIM

Dr Garry Richards OAM FAIM

“It’s all about the Management!” Quirky blogs from the "Dad"... With degrees in History, Organisational Psychology and Education and a PhD in Psychology, Dad was CEO of a national organisation at age 27 and spent the rest of his life as CEO, Director and Chairman of various boards and organisations. As an entrepreneurial CEO, Head of Research and Management Development and consultant over a wide range of enterprises and elected Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, his wide, deep experience and light-hearted spirit direct Dad's insights in these thought-provoking blogs.

Enquire Now

Enquire Now
Free consultation

As Seen On

Our Happy Clients

About Us

We transcend corporate barriers to create a feeling of belonging and appreciation.

Our tailored programs are unique, because we’re experts in Outdoor Education, Travel, Photography and all things fun!

Curious? For a quick, easy quote…

Testimonials

  • UDU changed our lives!  They took a bunch of lawyers under their wing and a long way out of our comfort zone, on a tailor-made weekend experience that included canoeing, trekking, climbing, swimming…

    - Michael - Sydney

  • Our team building weekend away with the UDU crew in North Sydney was an absolute fun fest. We were shown a very spectacular side of Sydney, and were thoroughly entertained by our gracious and very…

    - Nat - Melbourne

  • We just spent a wonderful weekend for our yearly team building retreat with Andy and “Dad” and I couldn’t recommend UDU more highly! From team building sessions, games, hiking, dolphin swimming…

    - Penny - Singapore

  • We had the most amazing time with UDU in the Royal National Park, thank you to Andy, Lex, Dee, Dave, Ken, ‘Dad’ and Ann. Everything was so well organised and such good fun. The food was delicious…

     

    - Laila - Ireland

  • UDU delivered in spades and worked closely with us to put together a secret programme together that would tick all the boxes. There were some fun team building exercises woven into the first day…

    - Mia - Sydney

  • Loved everything about this retreat. Andy and the rest of the guides where very lovely and knew a lot about the national park. They show you some pretty cool places and get you involved in some cool activities…

    - Jayne - Sydney

  • Andy was awesome! The food was tasty, the crew were fun and the whole experience was fantastic. I will do this again the next time I am in Sydney. Wonderful time!

     

    - Sophia - California

  • Incredible experience!!!I really enjoyed Garry’s insightful commentary, his historical and scientific anecdotes were very fascinating, on top of that he was funny! Mal the (cute) photographer was so patient with us…

    - Alice - Sydney

  • A great way to unwind, soak up the sun and the splendour of nature and explore the luscious beauty of the Australian bush. If you’re a city slicker, leave the concrete jungle for the real one, just for one day…

     

    - Fiona - Sydney

  • Fantastic experience. I would recommend this trip to everyone. Andy, Gary, Jon and Scott were wonderful. I loved sleeping on the beach and waking up to an awesome sunrise. The night photography was so much fun…

    - Steph - Brisbane

  • A really magical experience. Nothing like it, totally unique. It was very well organised and lots of fun. Loved it !!

    - Lisa - Sydney

  • Such a top night! Every entertaining evening. .the photos turned out AWEEEESOME!. 😀 go the light wars!!…

    - Deesh - Sydney

  • Brand new and exciting experience with plenty of moonlite adventures. All delivered with a frendliness and passion second to none. There was the good old fashioned story telling, plenty of good food, and…

     

    - Warren - Sydney