Everybody’s worked with an evangelist for “thinking outside the box.” I love ’em all. But all too often the outside-the-box folks come up with terrific, visionary, world-shaking ideas … and that’s it.
The revolutionary idea impresses everyone in the meeting. Then the proud visionary leaves the room with a “make-it-happen” directive that drops like a grenade among the unfortunates who must implement it.
Can’t help but admire the “mad scientists” and big thinkers. Where would we be without them?
But clever ideas are nothing without the heavy-lifting required to implement them. In a more perfect world, the visionary would stick around long enough to help dope out the real world details of turning a brilliant idea into an exciting, well-planned, well-executed replicable and sustainable solution.
At a grant-writing seminar the other day, a presenter summed it up nicely. “Don’t just think outside the box,” he said. “Make the box bigger.”