Innovation & “The Box”

Roller Coaster

Educators often say that innovation and creativity are born by thinking outside of the box.  There is a prevailing argument that increasing constraints on people will limit their ability to innovate and be creative.  This argument is wrong.  What? How can we be innovative if we are “boxed in”.  Surely we must think outside of the box to be creative.  Wrong.  The box is what forces our creativity.  For people who don’t push innovation, the box becomes the grave of their creativity.  But, for people who value creativity and innovation the box is an inspiration.  The needs combined with constraints can bring out the most creativity.  Being creative without constraints is unrealistic.  In the best of situations, we always have some constraints.  Success in innovation isn’t about taking off all the shackles and learning to fly.  Instead, it is about learning to use what is available to you to create, identify ways to mitigate the limitations and use the box to help you reach previously unattainable goals.  The next time you are frustrated by constraints, feeling boxed in.  Remember, the box is your launching pad to innovation.  Take your constraints and find a new path forward.