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.
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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 ?
Always thinking outside the box and never settling for less, Corcoran is credited with helping raise standards for all real estate companies.
They are thinking outside the box and this can affect bottom-line decisions.
Marketing topics will include enhancing a brand's value in a time of consolidation, designing results-oriented presentations and thinking outside the box when designing marketing partnerships.
You probably are saying: "I am tired of thinking outside the box in these times of change in an attempt to be a one-minute manager that practices transactional analysis thinking in search of excellence.
I was impressed because they were thinking outside the box.
We're thinking outside the box, as a mortgage company, doing something directly to help people in Michigan who face job setbacks as a result of a challenging economic environment," said Chris Miller, Senior Vice President of NovaStar Mortgage.
When you're stuck in a situation for a long time, you might have a hard time thinking outside the box,'' Messina said at the forum sponsored by Santa Clarita Valley Council PTA.
My big beef with the district is they are not trying enough and not thinking outside the box,'' said Todd Campbell, policy director for the Coalition for Clean Air.