About Creativity and
Out-of-the-box Thinking


What is creativity and how it emerges?


Encyclopaedia Britannica defines creativity like “the ability to make or otherwise bring into existence something new, whether a new solution to a problem, a new method or device, or a new artistic object or form”.

Creativity also means the ability to see the surrounding world in a new way, to look for (and reveal) hidden links between things which at first site does not seem connected and to discover new and innovative solutions to usual problems and routine tasks.

However, creativity is not just to invent an idea. An integral part of it is to find a way how to realise it in practice. This way, we not only gain experience, but also learn by doing things.

Everybody is interested in developing their creativity, irrespectively of their daily occupation.

But how to go out of routine and to change the way we think, so as to ‘tune’ our brain to discovery mood?


Here are some useful tips how to stimulate the process:

  • Searching connections and associationsbetween different questions, problems or ideas coming from areas which are not directly related, as well as new and unusual links between well-known things
  • Observationas much as we get used to looking closely and attentively to things, as many details we are able to see – irrespectively if we talk about a picture, a daily task, a work process, client’s or supplier’s behaviour, relationships with people around us or our own behaviour and the way we do things and solve problems
  • Meeting with new peopleespecially if they work in areas which are far from our professional domain or have different viewpoints from ours
  • Asking questionsthis will make us look inside and to the core of even clear and well-known things
  • Experimenting and acquiring new knowledge and skills for gaining experience in areas which are brand new and will allow us to ignite our lateral thinking and out-of-the-box approach.

When do we think in a conventional way and how to provoke creative and innovative thinking?

Usually, when we face a particular task or problem, our instinct is to do things in the way we have always done them. In some business domains and for some work processes, following the rules and procedures is not only a common practice, but the only way of reaction. But is this the right approach to each situation?

When we think in a conventional way, we follow the model “this is the problem, and this is the solution”. We do not consider if this is the best or the most effective solution. In this case, we just follow the routine practices – because something has been tested, proven, easer, safer, etc.


However, if we want to achieve something more and to look for new challenges, we must change our way of thinking, go out of the box, and try a completely new approach or solution to the problem or the task we face. And then – almost of a sudden, we see an enormous range of new opportunities. We start seeing the situation in a new way, discover new aspects of the task or the problem, which were previously hidden to us. And this unleashes the avalanche of creativity.

When we think ‘out-of-the-box’, we are more open to new things, nourish our curiosity and stay full of new ideas. As innovators, we are not afraid of challenging routine processes and see opportunities, not problems ahead of us. This way, lateral, creative and innovative way of thinking helps us be more successful in our wark, business endeavours, and life in general.