Out of the Box is « has been »


Trying to go out of the box, or out of the room where the box is, burn the box, is actually another way to escape true issues. Why ? Because the most powerful answers are IN the box, hidden behind frightening ghosts of the past… What does this mean ?

History always has its lot of ordeals. There are different ways to deal with them :

  1. Freeze : this is the most common behaviour when it comes down to panagement in the western world. Wow- don’t deal with it, broom it under the carpet and hopefully it will solve itself by itself.
  2. Flight : go and run out of the box look if we can find a « creative » solution, far away from the problem
  3. Fight : alchemize, deal with it, humbly, and transform this liability, which is by definition intimately attached the business

Now, these three behaviours have their own merits, but too often we let aside opportunities to pick very low hanging fruit, without stretching, whilst being able to look behind this inherited ghosts. It requires some courage, yes.

When we check how it works in nature, it’s full of examples. Like the tree in winter, the energy goes down to the roots to nourishr them, so the next spring the tree can grow a little more solidly with bigger roots. A tree does not go out of the box for survival except some that can poke their branches to catch root furtheron.


The 7 steps and keys to transforming in-the-box ghosts into value :

  1. Detect the liability, the problem, the « ghost from the past ». It could be an angry client or employee, a process which is repeatedly disfunctioning, or any « glass ceiling » or blocking problem in or around the organisation.
  2. Qualify and quantify it. Design the contours of it, evaluate how much of a liability it could be.
  3. Ask yourself genuine, courageous and bottom line questions. With different stakeholders, players, research what it could mean as a teaching, what could we learn from it, how could we grow through this, as human beings ?
  4. Inform yourself on what the contours of this « teaching » could mean for your organisation and how it could tackle the problem including this learning.
  5. Remember your strongest excellences, your values, your uniqueness. You will need them to stay authentic in this problem-shooting stage.
  6. Go and deal with it.
  7. Feedback on the progress, and finetune the solution. Keep humble, but stand for your values.

This is how in-the-box dealing can enhance your organisation.

Good luck !

Michel de Kemmeter

UHDR founder



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