The phrase "think outside the box" began in the early 1970s and is definitely NOT revolutionary. It is one of the most used phrases in leadership, even today. As you all know, it encourages thought leaders and management to be innovative and look for creative ways to problem solve.
What’s wrong with that? Most of the time no one else is outside of the box with you.
What I often suggest is that we get back in that box and expand it from the inside. Expand the boundaries for those inside the box to accomplish more.
I want you to put yourself into the place of the average employee in your company. Why do I want you to do this? Because those are the people we need to be reaching and impacting if we are going to have success. What steps are required for this?
1. Understand the Box
We need to understand the box. What is our organization’s culture – understanding what has happened in the past allows you to rethink next steps. When you understand your stakeholders, and their mindset, you are better able to develop programs and processes that meet their needs.
2. Create Flexibility
IG professionals deal with a very rigid environment. There are laws and policies and procedures that we must follow. But within that structured environment you need to create flexible ways for your organization to comply. That means creating accessible forms, rules that make sense to them. Simplify and lose the RIG speak. Create a program that is relatable to them. One that shows how RIG can create value for them.
3. Encourage Box Movers
Encourage those who are pushing to expand the box. Team up with them – even if they aren’t in your department you can learn from how they think. You can bounce ideas off them. They may not even be in your organization – maybe they are RIG colleagues. When you get to a point where you feel you can’t expand the box – look to your professional colleagues and how they did it.
Jump in the box with your colleagues and expand their world. Grow your programs from the inside out!