Thinking within the Box: Putting Could Before Should

Have been discussing research issues with some of my graduate students and it is shocking to see how we are all trained to think ‘within the box’. It seems that our culture as well as our education system trains us to first create a box around the problem that we want to solve by considering all the limitations that previous people have faced and then thinking of the solutions. We are encourages first to look at related research and then think of the solution based on what people already did. We are encouraged to be incremental.

What happened to the wisdom that argues for thinking ‘Outside the Box’?

Should we not be thinking about the problem first by considering the problem and then bring in the real world constraints? I guess, people who learn to defy the thinking within the box are the one who become great problem solvers.

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