EP 08: Thinking Outside the Box

Listen to the episode and read the show notes below.

EP 08: What does it mean to think outside the box?

Who hasn’t heard the phrase “think outside the box?” We’ve all heard it and, while we would all like to come up with the next great idea, it’s a lot easier said than done.

In this episode, we examine the current condition of information overload, how it’s maxing out people’s ability to do quality work, and how it makes creative thinking more difficult than ever before.

Tuning in you’ll learn about the brain’s addiction to novelty, how this plays out in Shiny Object Syndrome and FOMO, and some of the dangers of living in a constant state of partial attention and information overload. We then break down creative thinking and what it really means to think outside the box through Work Smart Consulting’s Innovation Lab process.

Listen in to discover why imagination and day-dreaming are so valuable, the need for time and space to enable creativity, and the value of a digital detox. We also break down Work Smart’s most important steps to promote creativity. If you want to understand how you personally can be more creative or how you can organize your team to think differently, then tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The definition of information overload and its prevalence in this day and age.
  • The importance of learning to think creatively.
  • An introduction to the Innovation Lab that Cynthia uses at Work Smart Consulting. 
  • How multitasking is the antithesis of creative thinking. 
  • The brain’s addiction to novelty and how this plays out in Shiny Object Syndrome and FOMO.
  • Some of the dangers of living in a constant state of partial attention and information overload.
  • The difference between productivity and busyness. 
  • What it means to be creative and how this is not the same as being artistic or intelligent. 
  • An assessment tool that takes a look at 12 different elements of being creative.
  • How Cynthia builds opportunities to improve people’s creativity into the Six Sigma process/DMAIC: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.
  • The two most important elements to being creative: time and space.
  • The value of scheduling time to just think through whatever problem you want to solve. 
  • The first step to promote creativity: to gather information.
  • The second step: incubation or conscious and subconscious processing of the problem.
  • The third step: the “Aha!” moment when something new is sparked.
  • The final step: taking the idea and bringing it into reality.
  • Why imagination and day-dreaming are so valuable.
  • Why Cynthia recommends digital detoxes. 
  • The art of practicing single-focus or mindful attention.
  • Why you should practice visualization and using your imagination. 
  • How these processes work together in Work Smart’s Innovation Lab.
  • A recap of the steps to help you build a lifestyle that will increase your creativity.
  • What you should pay attention to as you go through this process. 

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Did you enjoy this episode? Please pin it so that others can enjoy it too!

EP 08: What does it mean to think outside the box? (The science of creative thinking)
Dr. Cynthia Howard

Dr. Cynthia Howard

Executive Coach 

Performance Consultant 


It takes resilience and agility to stay focused in these disruptive times. We want to help you get ahead of the challenges in this digital age with short practical tips. Go forward. Be your best

Let’s Connect