Imagine my shock when told to start thinking inside the box, after years of being brainwashed to think outside the box. Even Oprah forced me to think outside the box.
I admit, I never really understood the true meaning of either one, except that thinking outside the box sounded cool, like I had a unique brain capable of thinking differently, because, dammit, my brain cells are outside thinkers, not inside thinkers.
As a volunteer at the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation, I am fortunate to listen to some famous people. Lynda Resnick, dubbed the “POM Queen,” is behind the marketing success of POM Wonderful, 100% pomegranate juice, Teleflora (the world’s largest floral-by-wire company) and FIJI Water (the leading imported bottled water brand in the United States).
Resnick spoke about how she creates memorable brands and I listened carefully to her lecture to see if any of us can apply her techniques to branding ourselves.
She asked the question: Creativity: Where does it come from? and proceeded to show us a slide of a chimpanzee with a paint brush. “Even animals can learn to paint,” she said, “but being creative, is a process.”
How can you count on creativity? “Creativity isn’t thinking outside the box, it’s thinking inside the box.” she said. She stressed that during these hard economic times, we need to focus on thinking inside the box.
Resnick’s three Gems, the pillars on which any business must be built if it hopes to grow and survive.
2)Unique selling proposition.
I shall focus on # 3, since this applies to most of us. Resnick says that most people think of Twitter and Facebook, but that they “comprise only two pieces of the social-networking puzzle. “Ning brings the picture one step closer to completion.” Many small businesses have used Ning to build social networks that are big on community and small on cost. To my fellow writers, I found a useful “she writes,” community on Ning. There are over 27 million people who joined, over the last two years.
Another service Resnick recommended, that might help some of us get feedback on a service or a product is Zoomerang and it’s free.
Resnick reminded us of the importance of “honesty” in what we do. There are 1,200 companies today giving back to the environment. Patagonia, gives 1% of its sales back to keep our planet healthy.
I found another helpful suggestion on Lynda Resnick’s blog: “If you love your product, you have to learn to give it away.” I’ve heard that mentioned over and over again, including Jerry Simmons, who has over 30 years experience in the book publishing business.
So are you an inside the box, or an outside the box thinker, and why?