Vadim Kotelnikov    

Thinking Outside the Box

Move Out of Your Comfort Zone to Find Innovative Solutions


Vadim Kotelnikov, founder of 1000ventures - personal logo   Business e-Coach   Innompic Games icon


The distance between a big problem and a great creative solution
can be uncoverable or very short – it all depends on your mindset >>>


Thinking Outside the Box Challenging Assumptions Perceptual Positions Creative Dissatisfaction Emfographics Vadim Kotelnikov Vadim Kotelnikov 10 Tips for Thinking Differently Virtuous Spiral Thinking Outside the Box, out of box thinking process, 3 eteps, emforgaphics, Vadim Kotelnikov



The "Box"

a Collection of Two Sets of Interactive Mental Models1


Knowledge Structures

External to you

Internal to you



A universally accepted model providing the context for understanding and decision-making in a particular field

The way you think
what you think about


Work Smart and Hard


3 Levels of Your Creativity


Thought Leader

Be a value creator – your breakthrough ideas make you a thought leader only if they create value for others... More

Innovation Is Love  Download PowerPoint presentation, pdf e-book


3Bs of Strategic Creativity


Challenge Assumptions

KoRe 10 Tips

  Recognize that everyone, including yourself, has ingrained assumptions about every situation, and keep in mind that so-called common knowledge may not be correct... More

Breakthrough Thinker

KoRe 10 Tips

  Think outside the box and outside your mental blocks. Examine assumptions, both conventional and your own. Break them and explore what’s out there... More

Make a Difference!



Powerful Concept

The notion 'thinking outside the box' is far more than just another management cliché. It is a very powerful concept worthy of deeper consideration in today's complex and rapidly changing world.


Leave Your Comfort Zone

Once we rid ourselves of traditional thinking
we can get on with creating the future.
James Bertrand

Creative Dissatisfaction

Thinking outside the box is never easy, nor is it merely a reflection of mental brightness.

To leave your psychological comfort zone and explore "solutions in the unknown world on the outside requires large measures of mental agility, boldness, and creativity – and/or an inspirational leader who makes life in the old box so uncomfortable that getting out is the only option. The future rests in those willing and able to do so."1

In business, 'thinking outside-the-box' can mean, for instance, looking beyond your industry's boundaries and existing markets to the customer's real needs... >>>

 4 WHYs of True Success 

Make Conscious Assumptions

Making conscious assumptions is a key tool of a creative thinker. "No great discovery is made without a bold guess," said Isaac Newton.

Assumptive thinking is not the same as guessing though. Making an assumption is more like using a tentative step... More

Challenge Assumptions

Challenging assumptions means questioning the everyday things you take for granted. "The best assumption to have is that any commonly held belief is wrong," says Ken Olson, CEO of DEC... More

Same Reality, Different Perceptions

Problem Solving Strategies: 4 Levels

Ask Searching Questions

Creativity requires an inquisitive mind. Unless you ask lots of "Why?" and "What If"? questions , you won't generate creative insights. "To avoid this most common of creative errors, be sure to peek under all carpets, including your own. Don't take anything for granted. Especially success. Try looking at the world through more inquisitive eyes; try getting ideas in motion; try asking the all-important: "Why?" See what happens!" says Alexander Hiam.7 ... More

Step Out of Your Shoes

Change hats and your thinking mode. Stepping out of your everyday shoes and into the shoes of others may help you surface new insights to a problem... More 

Case Studies Silicon Valley

In Silicon Valley, companies challenge the status quo and encourage creative out-of-the-box thinking mixed with pragmatic business judgment... More

Case Studies Unilever

Unilever used a designer to shake up the status quo: one division had to turn the employees' eating area into an outdoor-picnic environment. The experiment was designed to encourage workers to think out of the box.6   

Paradigm Crisis as a Catalyst of Outside-the-Box Thinking

Your concepts of business environment, organizational structures and management are based on paradigms. If your organizational structures and management systems are no longer able to perform as effectively as alternative ones based on entirely different paradigms you will at first experience a paradigm crisis... More

Case Studies The Buddhist Approach to Life vs. Western Science

"In the Western psychology, there is an assumption that everything must be accounted for within this lifetime," says Dalai Lama of Tibet. "So, when you can't explain what is causing certain behaviors or problems, the tendency is to always attribute it to the unconscious. It's a bit like you've lost something and you decide that the object is in this room. And once you have decided this, then you've already fixed your parameters; you've precluded the possibility of its being outside the room or in another room. So you keep on searching and searching, but you are not finding it, yet you continue to assume that it is still hidden somewhere in the room!"... More

Joke: A Car as Collateral

A Russian businessman walks into a Swiss bank in Geneva and asks for a $100 loan. He offers his luxury Mercedes car as collateral. The collateral is too good, and the bank manager approves the loan. A year later, the Russian comes back. He repays the loan and the 10% interest and is ready to collect his car. Finally, the puzzled bank manager dares to ask him: "Excuse me, sir, could  you tell me: did you really need that $100 so badly? In order to get the money, you left your luxury car with us for a whole year!" The Russian replied, "That's simple – just think outside the box:  where else in Geneva can I find such a great parking place for just $10 a year?" ... More jokes





Vadim Kotelnikov advice quotes

A startup business plan is not a box to act within, it is a seed to grow.

Vadim Kotelnikov

Vadim Kotelnikov, founder of 1000ventures - personal logo    Business e-Coach    Innompic Games icon








 Case Studies Jugaad – an innovative fix to optimize resources

The Indian Jugaad is a respected methodology of optimizing the resources. It is a survival tactic that expresses a need to do what needs to be done, without regard to what is conventionally supposed to be possible. This meaning is often used to signify creativity to utilize the limited resources to the maximum extent... More



  1. Thinking Outside the Comfort Zone, Jerry Sentell

  2. Lateral Thinking, Edward de Bono

  3. Improve Your Lateral Thinking: Puzzles To Challenge Your Mind, Paul Sloane

  4. The Art of Happiness, HH the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet and Howard C. Cutler

  5. Motivation123, Newsletter by Jason Gracia

  6. How To Jazz Up Innovation, Linda Stern

Albert Einstein quotes

We don't need to think more,

we need to think differently.


Tagore quotes

If I can't make it through one door, I'll go through another door ‒ or I'll make a door. Something terrific will come.

Rabindranath Tagore

Larry Elison advice

The only way to get ahead is to

find errors in conventional wisdom.

Larry Elison


Mikhail Zhvanetsky humorous quotes, Russian jokes

Any car will last you a life-time

 if you drive fast enough >>>

Mikhail Zhvanetsky