3 Tips To Help Optometrists Think Outside The Box

One of the most well-worn business clichés is “thinking outside the box.” It seems that everyone is obsessed with thinking outside the box. However, if the idea is so well worn, why does it seem uncommon in our industry? The problem is many people aren’t clear about what the box is, or what it means to think outside it.


Thinking outside the box is supposed to mean confronting problems in unconventional ways.  It requires creative and free-thinking and encourages frequent challenges to the status quo. Outside-the-box thinking, in the creative words of Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino, is “constructive nonconformity” behavior.


This “nonconformist” behavior causes deviation from organizational norms or common expectations usually to the benefit of the organization. Take a look at the current problems in your practice and start brainstorming with your team. Solving such problems by using “constructive nonconformity” will make you innovative and make you stand out from the rest.


Here are 3 tips from Inc.com to help you think outside the box


1. Question the status quo regularly. 

Make nonconformity the expected conversation. Ask “Why?” “How might we…?” and “What if…?” Put apparent conflicting issues side by side and begin to solve them as a team.


2. Take a wider perspective and oscillate between uncommon content!  

Breakthrough thinking and creativity often come from making uncommon connections. Find the uncommon thread between seemingly unrelated topics, concepts, or issues to get a different view or an idea to move “outside the box.” Don’t discount anything as unrelated or unconnected.


3. Create a visual.

You don’t have to be Da Vinci. Drawing engages your right brain and can release the hold your logical left brain has on thinking about the issue or “the box” the same way. Metaphors are also very powerful tools for holding a lot of information in a small amount of space. The key is to engage your team in the process of visual thinking and visual iteration to encourage different views about how a solution could take a new path.

Are You An Outside of The Box Thinker?

We are a network of Determined, Intelligent, Vibrant, Assertive, and Sassy women Optometrists who love to challenge the status quo! Are you one of us?