think outside (of) the box

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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 ?
And they are thinking outside of the box, or should that be the bottle, for their latest event.
Attempting to get the answer fewest members of the public picked, the show is all about thinking outside of the box and using reverse psychology to predict what people would most likely have chsoen.
"Our ambition is to create a centre of excellence in the UK that promotes innovation, thinking outside of the box and inspires the next generation of engineers to take up a career in electrification.
Speaking on Twitter, the 39-year-old said: "It's a brave appointment but I like that they are thinking outside of the box and looking at young and upcoming coaches.
With this initiative we are thinking outside of the box and being creative in our approach.
"I want to help every business succeed by thinking outside of the box, and ultimately that's our job as a creative marketing agency." She plans on helping more brands reach the next level of success by providing new options.
On collecting his trophy, Hayward commented on why he believed he deserved the award: "It's about being innovative, creative, thinking outside of the box. I do a lot more than a normal pastry chef would do, I'm dealing with every level in every department.
They must have the same mindset in thinking outside of the box," Ammar Al Alwan, managing director.
Northumberland, which recently scrapped the post of chief executive to save money, is thinking outside of the box. That's what is needed at times like this.
It is a great example for thinking outside of the box to get the point and the training out to the personnel that need it.
However, "the box" (and not just its metaphorical sense) does not exist, so "thinking outside of the box" is a flawed concept; simply THINKING will suffice.
"I'm a great believer in thinking outside of the box and using ordinary things in different ways.
Omega FM is a modern and innovative organisation; with a reputation for "thinking outside of the box".