For years and years now the big mantra in the business world has been thinking outside the box. Unfortunately while we may promote the idea of thinking outside the box it is seldom carried out. I know one national company that was having some huge issues maintaining their inventory within their stores using the “REVOLUTIONARY NEW” on time ordering system.
So the company went to their employees and ask them to think outside of the box to fix this issue. A number of the employees had the idea to have a way to manually order a product when the auto replenishment part of the system messed up. The upper management in the company not wanting to let go of the control that the inventory control system had on the stock levels thought this was bad idea. Several years this company struggled to keep enough products on the shelves to sell to their customers. After losing piles and piles of money and spending a fortune to hire an outside expert to assess the situation it was determined that the only way to fix it was with a manual override to allow the staff to reorder the products that were out of stock. Now this was something that the staff had thought up several years previous but the management would not hear about it because it was too comfortable inside the box.
The same thing happens in photography, we try to think of outside of the box but we cannot allow ourselves to actually step out of the box. It could be because it has never been done like that before or it would change the way we’ve done it for years or it could also be that it is scary to do.
Today was one of those days I was forced to step outside of the box. I had a client come in and they required a photograph of a product that I’ve done for this client dozens of times before. But what we wanted as a final image was not working no matter how we tried using the in the box thinking. So the client had a suggestion of something that should “never” work, I was about to say “no that won’t work” but but being at the end of my rope on this shoot I decided to give it a try. I redesigned how this shoot could be done using equipment and techniques that should never work “I stepped outside the box”. After several test shots we both realized that the pictures were way above our expectations and we had just done something that was technically impossible to do but we did it by thinking outside of the box or in this case thinking outside how it has been done for dozens of years.
So the next time you’re faced with a problem and you are banging your head against the problem relentlessly just try to think outside of the box. Just maybe stepping outside of the box will allow you to get around the problem.