New Box thinking

We have been tough for decades to think outside the box as a way to be more innovative and see different perspectives. The issue with that is mostly we are thinking from the same box perspective but from different viewpoints but the box is still the same but from a wider angle or what is called a bird or a helicopter view.

This kind of thinking is almost hard to come up with new dramatic innovations and changes to imagine what the future would look like.

In this article, I’m discussing more thinking of a new box, but first what is the box?

What is the box?

The box is mainly the boundaries of the problem/solution space that you are focusing on which can be mapped to the world, enterprise, department, a function inside the enterprise, or even a group of things. Your mind is one that defines those box boundaries and your box can be different from my box even if we think that we are considering the same box.

When we face a challenge, we start to think about how to overcome that challenge and we start thinking inside that box boundaries and are almost overwhelmed with details inside that box, from actors, processes, tools, and systems used in that boundaries.  At that moment, a wise man will start suggesting to go out and think more from a high-level context which is out-of-the-box thinking.

This will let you think of the high-level issues and how to tackle them from different perspectives. This kind of thinking is very effective and has proven to improve the current situation and come up with new ideas and solutions to the existing business problems within that boundaries.

So, what is New Box Thinking?

New Box thinking is beyond the current context, it let you imagine new situations that do not even exist to envision the future which is business scenario planning. This will help you imagine new possibilities and boundaries, doubt every fact that you see relevant in the current situation, and be ready for the future and unforeseen events.

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7 Mindset shifts that will boost the effectiveness of teams’ harmony in solutions implementation

Any work that we are doing, even if it’s done by individual efforts, will affect others in some way. The affected other side is the end customer who is concerned about benefits and results from this work. The end customer can be a consumer, a citizen, an organization with complex teams, or even a collection of all.

I believe that working individually or within a team(s) needs a different mindset shift that can have more understanding, empathy, active listening, collaboration, and appreciation.

This kind of relationship should be from both sides, not only you as who is doing the work but you as who is receiving the end results of this work. We are always facing challenges while delivering and observing teams that are complaining about the customers and how tough they are, how the customers provide vague and unclear requirements, how the customers want to change their needs without paying costs, how the customers are not appreciating the efforts.

Many complaints, sometimes I actually feel the same, and I become very frustrated. In these situations, you need to pause, rethink again, emphasize, and see what is the outcome of this tension, what are the trade-offs we should take, and what are the implications of our actions in the long term relationship with that customer.

It is not always on the customer side, it is also inside the team who is carrying out the implementation, and this team’s understanding and how the team is showing empathy.

Many times, I see individual members of the team who are seeing the customer as ignorant, they do not understand, they are seeing themselves as the experts in the situation and the customer is outdated. Sometimes, team members quit the project, or a company does not want to work again with that customer because of how tough was the process and the relationship between the teams.

Changing the mindset is not something easy, it may need changing our way of analyzing, engaging, implementing, negotiating, contracting, and many aspects that can support the healthy relationship on both sides between the implementers and the customer for better end delivery.

So, I wanted to list different mindset shift factors that can affect the way we think from both sides to deliver better usable solutions. I am using the client to indicate the end-user(s) who will be involved to provide their needs and requirements, impacted by the change introduced by the solution, and concerned by the outcomes of this solution. The implementers who present the teams that are responsible for the implementation and delivery of the solution. These two sides can be in the same organization or two different organizations, below is the summary of these factors:

The factors

Shift factorsClient(From)Client(To)Implementers(From)Implementers(To)
RelationshipClient-Vendor relationship mindsetPartnership mindsetThe expert mindsetThe learner mindset
ListeningMy way or the highway mindsetListening to act, and take the right actionExecution MindsetUnderstanding and empathy mindset
NeedsEverything is important mindsetPriorities MindsetSolution boundaries mindsetlimitless alternatives mindset
ScopeUnbounded scope mindsetRealistic and focused scope mindsetRigid scope mindsetAdaptive & dynamic scope mindset
Management FrameworkProject Management mindsetProduct Management mindsetScope management mindsetExpectations and Value management mindset
The Adoption JourneyBusiness needs as destination mindsetOperation needs and the journey mindsetDevelop for test and deliver mindsetDevelop for usage and operation mindset
PracticesFixed mindsetInnovative mindsetSolution defensive mindsetResourcefulness mindset
Mindset Shifts Summary

In the next paragraphs, I will discuss each shift factor in detail.

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Change starts with YOU!

The most difficult change is the change in people’s mindset, especially when they are used to perform and do the same activities for a quite long time in the same way.

People minds are usually wired to only see the value of their used traditional methods and techniques, and their daily routines. It is hard to convince them to even try to think if there is a better way to do this or that, I feel empathy with those mindsets because most of the time, this routine drags us and prevents us to pause and think about what can be improved!

We are too busy for a change
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