Thinking outside the box suggests going a long way away from the norm, and often that does lead to breakthrough ideas. However, Christian Stadil, CEO of innovative company Thornico, says there’s also a lot to be gained from thinking inside (or at the edges of) the box.
He suggests looking at the edge of what you already do well. That involves playing to your strengths and looking for an improvement of perhaps 10 or 20 percent rather than some radical breakthrough.
An interesting approach might be to start by thinking, what would a 20% better (name of your product or service) look like, sound like, feel like, be like?
Then take each of the attributes you come up with and brainstorm how you might create it.
You can also apply this to the components of a project. For instance, if you are writing a thriller novel or screenplay, you could brainstorm how to make the opening more of a grabber, how to heighten the tension in key scenes, how to make the protagonist more relatable, and so on, improving each part one by one as part of your rewriting process.
(For friendly guidance in writing your book, see Your Writing Coach, published by Nicholas Brealey and available from Amazon or your other favorite bookseller.)