think outside (of) the box

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Also found in: Acronyms.

think outside (of) the box

To think of something that is outside of or beyond what is considered usual, traditional, or conventional; to think innovatively. I've been trying to think outside the box about what I want this term paper to be about. I know the professor hates unoriginal ideas. OK, team, we really need to think outside of the box if we're going to impress the CEO.
See also: box, outside, think

think outside the box

Fig. to think freely, not bound by old, nonfunctional, or limiting structures, rules, or practices. (As if thinking or creativity were confined in or limited by a figurative box. Compare this with think inside the box.) You won't come up with good ideas until you think outside the box. Let's think outside the box for a minute and try to find a better solution.
See also: box, outside, think

think outside the box

If you think outside the box, you have new and unusual ideas. They need to be able to think outside the box and move their role away from a purely technical focus.
See also: box, outside, think

think outside the box

have ideas that are original, creative, or innovative. informal
See also: box, outside, think
References in periodicals archive ?
"Getting the most out of a production line requires a willingness to think outside of the box, an often-used but very relevant term," he says.
Even though I hate to use the cliche "think outside of the box", frequently it is exactly what is called for.
"I'm trying to think outside of the box, so to speak."
"Being able to think outside of the box and look at unique ways to reach for consumers (is important).
It will include the International Coatings Expo, the largest North American exhibition of raw materials, equipment and services for the manufacturing industry and educational programs to help attendees "think outside of the box." Returning for a second year will be FutureCoat!--a major technical conference examining the most innovative methods and applications shaping the future of the coatings industry.
Saltzman, a comedian turned business consultant, explains why people should never take "yes" for an answer, how failing is good, and when it might be a smart thing to tell a spouse to "shut-up." Twenty-eight short chapters argue for why it's so important to think outside of the box and provide suggestions for how one can successfully escape the confines of convention.
Think outside of the box. Margaret Barney has been a support group leader for people with MS and cancer in both Olympia, Washington, and Houston.
If time-honored testing on laboratory animals and groups of people isn't enough, may be biomedical specialists should think outside of the box, some scientists have reasoned.
newspaper publishers who knows how to think outside of the box. Therefore, Times-Shamrock isn't just buying a good newspaper, it's buying an innovative newspaper business.
My letter's main message is: Think outside of the box to open yourself up to new, lucrative opportunities.
"People who become scientists have the ability to think outside of the box, which isn't something we're normally taught to do."
Realizing the need to be proactive while rolling with the punches, these entrepreneurs are learning that to survive, one has to think outside of the box. They're forming partnerships, taking advantage of networking opportunities, and finding ways to finance their ventures.
The spirit of this group challenged the community to "think outside of the box," and led to the economic ideas such as making Sudbury the education centre of the North, continuing greening of the environment, promoting Sudbury as a tourist destination and creating a "Northern Ontario Place" (Science North) and establishing a Northern Ontario Development Fund (Heritage Fund), Atkins says.
WHEN it comes to voting, people need to think outside of the box.