While some people like to say, “Think outside of the box,” I go further and say, “There is no box.” But this sort of talk makes many people nervous, often for understandable reasons.
Let’s say a person’s job is to make certain that the power grid in their region never goes down. Their role demands extreme attention to detail and complete adherence to a certain way of doing things. Their box has very specific boundaries.
When a person like me works with a person like that, we’re both likely to end up frustrated.
And yet, the world keeps changing. (Even the power grid.)
So one potential solution is to agree on the boundaries of a shared box. The more constrained person agrees to stretch his or her comfort zone, while the person like me agrees not to question everything.
We choose a space in which to innovate together, and we also choose a space in which we will accept the status quo, at least for now.
Life is compromise, and it goes both ways.