Thinking outside the box

I hate the term “Thinking outside the box.” I hate it more than I hated “new coke”. I hate it more than Gollum hates the “fat hobbit“. I hate it more than christian rap — or any rap for that matter. I hate it more than Saddam hates the familiar “whistle/bang” sound of bombs dropping all around him. OK, you get the point.

This term implies an infinite amount of space to solve a problem. Obviously, the word “box“ implies that you have a problem and a small amount of space from which to solve it. “Thinking outside the box” is stating that you can somehow just ignore the resource boundaries of your problem area. Sure, anyone can solve a problem with an infinite amount of resources “outside of that box“. This is pretty much what big consulting firms do. They can help you shed a million dollars from your corporate budget, but they charge you two million to do it.

This would be like a McGuyver episode where he was trapped in a room full of useless junk and instead of fashioning a device from a shoelace and a candle to open the door he just yelled for help until someone “outside” the room opened the door.

How about changing this term to “solving inside the box”. This is much more important to me. I’d much rather hire someone who can solve a problem given only the resources given to him over someone who can “think outside the box” and require additional resources to complete a task.

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