Thinking Between the Boxes by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Illustrated by Cover by Jordana Mirski - Ourboox.com
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Thinking Between the Boxes

by

Artwork: Cover by Jordana Mirski

After fruitful careers as a scientist and inventor I've gone back to what I love most - writing children's books Read More
  • Joined Oct 2013
  • Published Books 1543

Most people think that creativity involves “Thinking Outside the Box”. If you Google it, you get over 500,000 search results. Apparently a lot of people believe in it. “Thinking Outside the Box” even has a lengthy Wikipedia entry.

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Thinking Between the Boxes by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Illustrated by Cover by Jordana Mirski - Ourboox.com

Many people think that creativity involves “Thinking Inside the Box”. If you Google it, you get over 300,000 search results. That’s still a lot of search results.

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Thinking Between the Boxes by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג - Illustrated by Cover by Jordana Mirski - Ourboox.com

Less people think that creativity involves “Thinking Between Boxes”.

A lot less (183 search results on Google).

 

 

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Thinking between boxes is combining two anythings (things, ideas, words, concepts, actions, etc.) in an unanticipated way.

 

 

 

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Any creative act is a bisociation of two (or more) apparently incompatible frames of thought.” (Arthur Koestler)

Arthur Koestler (1969).jpg

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Maria Popova writes in her blog that creativity is a combinatorial force — it thrives on cross-pollinating existing ideas, often across divergent disciplines and sensibilities, and combining them into something new.” She further cites W. I. B. Beveridge who wrote “Originality often consists in linking up ideas whose connection was not previously suspected.”

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For example, what connection could there possibly be between sticky burs…

 

 

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and zippers?

 

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George de Mestral  apparently found one, in 1941, when he was about 35 years old.

 

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They called it “Velcro”. The rest is history…

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Let’s practice by seeing whether we can come up with original connections. Let’s take something as commonplace as yogurt. Try to find something that isn’t connected to it. It’s impossible. I dare you!

 

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If you want to develop this further, you can generate random words and try to connect them with yogurt. Or honey. Or anything. You will come up with wild and wacky ideas – that’s what it’s all about! You can then move on to 48create. Our time-tested technique for coming up with amazing (and occasionally useful) ideas.

 

 

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And if all else fails, you can always write a book about yogurt.

 artwork Harriet Goitein

 

 

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For the two-minute version of thinking between boxes, check here.

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