Yes – you are reading the title of this blog correctly: “Linking” Outside the Box. It is not a typo. In fact, it was our CEO during a team meeting when she misspoke the word “thinking” as “linking” outside the box. The moment she said it, it struck me as a great topic to share with you.
When we talk about “thinking” outside the box, we mean coming up with something new. Something, we have not done before. Something, that will benefit us, make us more productive and successful. Something outside of the ordinary of what we normally do.
How does “linking” outside the box tie into that? Linking implies connecting something, bringing two things together; connecting people, connecting things, connecting processes. Linking outside the box could mean connecting with someone outside of our industry. Someone who we have not considered as a potential client group before. Someone who would benefit from the services we offer. Business owners tend to join networking groups or visit tradeshows and industry events of their same, own industry. It is a great experience meeting long known acquaintances and industry newcomers who are eager to learn the latest trends on the market and tools of the trade. If your product is versatile and benefits all kinds of industries, it could open new doors to business opportunities when exhibiting on the tradeshow floor of a completely different type of industry, one that you have not exhibited before. You can make new connections – create new links outside of your box.
On the technology side, businesses could explore new avenues of processing or storing their company data. Maybe try a new credit card processing platform; one that charges lower fees and offers other forms of incentives for its clients. Another way of linking outside the box could be the signup to an online business rating platform that will enhance your rankings on the search engines when people are looking for your type of services or products so that your business name will pop up under the first ten businesses listed on the first page of the search results.
The story of the well-known post-it notes® is another great example, where a production error led to a new line of products. The company recognized the opportunity and took their new product to market, converting it into a huge success with a high profit margin – higher than they ever imagined. Taking that “failed” process and turning it into a new product line with the proper marketing strategy was “linking” outside the box. And what a success story it became!
Linking outside the box could mean many different things for your business. Team collaboration can help find these meanings and create a plan to translate them into action. When was the last time that you “linked” outside the box?