How to think outside the box?


The best desire of any technical professional is the question that often comes in his mind about how to think outside the box.

If you go and ask those top notch guys about the thought process they follow in their professional life then you get only one word “It is hard work”

If this winds up all our questions regarding creative thinking then, this is one of the mistakes.

Look at this way : An entrepreneur gets an award for his achievements.What that guy was doing that you weren’t ?

The answer to this question is quite simple and far complex. An award winning person was spending equal time span to collect the knowledge and showing his creativity.

You are also spending that much time but still you are not on the level of that entrepreneur .

Question is why ?

If you replace the term why with the word how then this thinking will make sense.

Unfortunately, this has become a taboo that successful people don’t show the way they capture knowledge , store it in a proper way and then implement that knowledge in their work because they think that you will outclass them etc.

Basically, perception about the environment of a successful  person is not functionally fixed

Look at the definition at wikipedia.org

Functional fixedness is a cognitive bias that limits a person to using an object only in the way it is traditionally used. The concept of functional fixedness originated in Gestalt Psychology, a movement in psychology that emphasizes holistic processing. Karl Duncker defined functional fixedness as being a “mental block against using an object in a new way that is required to solve a problem.” (Duncker, 1945) This “block” limits the ability of an individual to use components given to them to complete a task, as they cannot move past the original purpose of those components. For example, if someone needs a paperweight, but they only have a hammer, they may not see how the hammer can be used as a paperweight. This inability to see a hammer’s use as anything other than for pounding nails, is functional fixedness. The person couldn’t think to use the hammer in a way other than in its conventional function.

When tested, 5-year-old children show no signs of functional fixedness. It has been argued that this is because at age 5, any goal to be achieved with an object is equivalent to any other goal. However, by age 7, children have acquired the tendency to treat the originally intended purpose of an object as special (German & Defeyter, 2000).

I will discuss the core areas in which you have to work in order to overcome functional fixedness in my upcoming posts

Syed Adeel Ahmed
Analyst, Programmer, Educationist and Blogger at Technofranchise
Computer Systems Engineer from Sir Syed University Of Engineering & Technology.I am passionate about all types of programming.
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Syed Adeel Ahmed

Computer Systems Engineer from Sir Syed University Of Engineering & Technology.I am passionate about all types of programming.