Thinking out of the box

To me, as a Business Psychologist, but also an HR professional,  if there was only one single thing I would like my students to leave the room with is to always keep their mind open to the unexpected, to innovation and creativity. I want my students to understand that whatever their professors tell them, whatever they learned in the past, whatever they will experience in the future, they need to keep their minds open to something that is different, to something that wasn’t in their grasp, in their training, in their know-how…

To illustrate this, here is a little exercise I like to give out on a simple sheet of paper, with these simple instructions:

See the 9 dots below…

Your job is to connect the dots by drawing four straight, continuous lines that pass through each of the nine dots, and never lifting the “pencil” from the paper.

I give them 5 minutes to do it…

NOW TRY IT AND ONLY THEN KEEP ON READING…

Click here to see the solution. 

Even if this exercise has been used in many workshops and for many different purposes for the last 40 years. I do believe it is still as relevant as it was before to start a conversation on thinking out of the box. Of course, there will always be some people who know it, some who find the answer right away and the ones who can’t get out of the “box”. Which are you?

Dr. Elodie Baerlocher, Professor at BSL

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