Thinking in New Boxes: Summary Review

This is a summary review of Thinking in New Boxes containing key details about the book.

What is Thinking in New Boxes About?

Thinking in New Boxes will help you and your company overcome missed opportunities and stay ahead of the curve. This innovative book challenges everything you thought you knew about business creativity by breaking creativity down into five steps: Doubt everything, Explore options, Generate many new and exciting ideas, drive breakthrough results, and Reevaluate.

Who is the author of Thinking in New Boxes?

Luc de Brabandere is a senior advisor to The Boston Consulting Group's Strategy practice. He specializes in creativity, scenario building, and strategic vision techniques applied to business. Luc served as a BCG Fellow from 2008 through 2017, and was a partner at the firm from 2001 and 2008.

Alan Iny is the senior global specialist for creativity and scenario planning at The Boston Consulting Group. He has trained thousands of executives and BCG consultants, runs a wide range of workshops across industries, and speaks around the world about coming up with product, service, and other ideas, developing a new strategic vision, and thinking creatively about the future.

How long is Thinking in New Boxes?

  • Print length: 352 pages

What genre is Thinking in New Boxes?

Business, Nonfiction, Leadership

What are good quotes from Thinking in New Boxes?

“profound: Hard as you may try to anticipate uncertainty and the randomness of future events, opportunities, and hazards, you will probably underestimate just how chaotic and unpredictable these things truly are and can become. You need to actively doubt the way you think about what could happen tomorrow, because the amount of chaos and uncertainty at play is (on average) more than you expect. All of these examples demonstrate the importance of doubt and can help you realize that even when you try to use your most rational, deductive skill sets, you are still prone to biases and errors.”

“They are moments of sudden recognition—moments of shock—in the face of revolutionary change (Caramba!) or a brilliant new possibility (Eureka!).c Both can eventually lead to success (Eureka can lead to a brilliant new idea; Caramba can spark a fantastic reinvention of your boxes) or failure (not capitalizing on a Eureka moment, not recovering from a Caramba moment). And so avoiding Caramba and achieving Eureka is not merely a function of having more or even better ideas. Most Caramba moments are not due to a lack of ideas; rather, they are due to the way ideas are processed. They happen when people don’t move to a new box in time.”

“Rothberg’s story is a powerful reminder that relying on the status quo is not a viable option in a changing world. People will either develop new ideas on their own (Eureka!) or others will do it for them (Caramba!).”

“The beginning of wisdom is found in doubting; by doubting we are led to question, and by questioning we arrive at the truth.a1 —PETER ABÉLARD, medieval French philosopher To have doubted one’s own first principles is the mark of a civilized man.2 —OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES,”

“boiling frogs” and “elephants in the room”—combine them with your list of trends and spend some time pondering how you could exploit them. Ask yourself,
• Which of these would be the most disruptive?
• For which ones are we least ready?
• Which ones are right in front of us, yet we are hesitant to admit they’re there?
• What about our competitors—why are they ready for some more than others?
• How do these future events, whether likely or unlikely, influence the kinds of new ideas we want to generate during Step 3 divergence?
• How do they change our central line of inquiry?”

“chapter 9). Senegal-born industrialist Gaston Berger,d a noted pioneer of the prospective approach, once said, “If you’re driving on a road that you know really well in pitch darkness, you’ll only need a lantern. But if you’re driving down a road in unfamiliar territory, you’re going to need powerful headlights.” Prospective”

“Prospective thinking is about anticipating long-term changes, including highly disruptive ones (some known, and others entirely unknown), and responding to them early. Prospective thinking—which relies a lot on induction—is at the heart of practical creativity. It’s about acting rather than waiting.”

“When you use predictive thinking, by contrast, you’re usually foreseeing events that are considered to be highly likely. It can work well if

1) you are very familiar with the parameters of events likely to occur relatively soon;

2) those parameters are fairly constant, stable, and easy to measure; and

3) you’re able to use established algorithms to make decisions about short-term outcomes. Predictive thinking prioritizes your deductive mind. An example might be the way in which traffic control experts at airports are able to decide when to ground planes and when to allow them to fly. Long-term weather patterns are not easy to anticipate but meteorologists can predict short-term hour-by-hour weather with relative accuracy and thus traffic control officers can use”

“Suppose you are told there is a rule for producing sets of three numbers, and the set 2, 4, 6 fits the rule. How would you determine what the rule is, and provide other sets of numbers that fit the rule? Almost everyone will immediately say that the rule is about subsequent increasing even numbers, and so another set is: 8, 10, 12 or 20, 22, 24. Although this rush to judgment—that is, wherein you say to yourself, “I should continue along my first hypothesis, the pattern of even numbers based on the factor 2”—is normal, it leads you to overlook the full range of possible answers. The rule could be only about increasing numbers (so 3, 5, 7 could work), or only about even numbers (so 6, 4, 2 would be a good answer, too).”

“This chart contrasts predictive and prospective thinking: Predictive Thinking Prospective Thinking Mindset Forecasting, “We expect …” Preparing, “But what if …” Goal Reduce or even discard uncertainty, fight ambiguity Live with uncertainty, embrace ambiguity, plan for set of contingencies Level of uncertainty Average High Method Extrapolating from present and past Open, imaginative Approach Categorical, assumes continuity Global, systemic, anticipates disruptive events Information inputs Quantitative, objective, known Qualitative (whether quantifiable or not), subjective, known or unknown Relationships Static, stable structures Dynamic, evolving structures Technique Established quantitative models (economics, mathematics, data) Developing scenarios using qualitative approaches (often building on megatrends) Evaluation method Numbers Criteria”

“This chart contrasts predictive and prospective thinking: Predictive Thinking Prospective Thinking Mindset Forecasting, “We expect …” Preparing, “But what if …” Goal Reduce or even discard uncertainty, fight ambiguity Live with uncertainty, embrace ambiguity, plan for set of contingencies Level of uncertainty Average High Method Extrapolating from present and past Open, imaginative Approach Categorical, assumes continuity Global, systemic, anticipates disruptive events Information inputs Quantitative, objective, known Qualitative (whether quantifiable or not), subjective, known or unknown Relationships Static, stable structures Dynamic, evolving structures Technique Established quantitative models (economics, mathematics, data) Developing scenarios using qualitative approaches (often building on megatrends) Evaluation method Numbers Criteria Attitude toward the future Passive or reactive (the future will be) Proactive and creative (we create or shape the future) Way of thinking Generally deduction Greater use of induction”

“SECOND, ENUMERATE AND CHALLENGE YOUR CURRENT RULES, ASSUMPTIONS, PARADIGMS, AND OTHER BOXES”

― Luc de Brabandere and Alan Iny, Thinking in New Boxes
 

What are the chapters in Thinking in New Boxes?

Chapter 1: New Boxes for a New Reality
Chapter 2: How to Create and Use Boxes
Chapter 3: Doubt Everything
Chapter 4: Probe the Possible
Chapter 5: Diverge
Chapter 6: Converge
Chapter 7: Reevaluate Relentlessly
Chapter 8: From Inspiration to Innovation: Building Bold New Boxes-and Then Filling Them In
Chapter 9: Imagine the Future
Chapter 10: A New Beginning: How to Custom-fit the Five Steps to Your Situation

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Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.

 

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Founder

Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.

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