The turbulence in international financial markets over the last decade has caused a huge shift in international business. The business terrain now requires business people all over the world to have abilities which enable them to manage the high rate of change with regard to contemporary business. These requirements include the need to build a large number of new businesses and also the need to achieve substantial growth for existing ones.
In the present climate of shrinking margins, increased workload, social pressure and rapid technological advancement, new levels of thinking and unusual perspectives are required to cope. Henry Ford once said ‘When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it’. Obtaining the ability to takeoff against the wind however requires a new way of thinking.
In this regard, thinking outside the box is a popular catchphrase of management and business practitioners which is used to typify thinking without limitations. However for you as a business leader in the present challenging business environment, simply thinking outside the box could just be an old cliché and might no longer be adequate for dealing with practical issues. Reason for this is that the box or limitation still exists and you are only thinking on the outside of it.
Your accommodating for the existence of the box still constitutes a limitation and distraction because the box is still there. You will rather need to think ‘without the box’ to be completely free of any limitations and become open to the infinite possibilities for innovation that will be required in your business or life situation. To help with the more practical process of thinking ‘without the box’, I have developed the five-step RETINA framework which helps you to see limitations from another perspective. It is unpacked as follows:
‘RE’ – RECOGNIZE: The use of the RETINA framework starts with recognizing that there is a limitation or box that could prevent the attainment of business objectives. This is a very important initial step as sometimes the box can be obvious and sometimes it may be abstract or in the background. Whichever way, it is necessary to consciously recognize what box is exactly.
‘E’ – ELIMINATE: After recognition, it is then imperative to eliminate the box all together so it ceases to exist or stand as a distraction. This is mainly a mindset shift to see the situation from another perspective where the box ceases to exist.
‘T’ – THINK AGAIN: Now that there is no longer a limiting box, a fresh thinking exercise can done to come up with practical options for attaining your goals.
‘IN’ – INNOVATE: After thinking through the possible solutions, this is where the innovation process then needs to be applied to creatively arrive at the best possible solution.
‘A’ – ACT: Finally, the last important step is to then act on the innovative solution and implement it towards achieving your purpose.
To be continued…