How do you think outside the box when you work and go to school in one?
The term “thinking outside the box” stands for doing and thinking in unconventional ways. Stepping out of bounds and staying away from the beaten path. Away from routine and what is expected of you. Normally, usually, typically, or similar terms should not be in your vocabulary (much).
And yet our daily routine looks so much different. Our schools, but also work places are happening in rectangular shoe boxes, with little to no natural lighting and even less high quality air. Slapped together to maximize the builder’s and architect’s profitability. Enabled by having harnessed energy to a point where we believe we control nature by being able to climate control our working and schooling habitats. That is living in a box.
Rule of thumb here is a simple one: Nice 90 degree corners are good and so is routine and standardization. Where does that leave creativity and quality of life though? Over 70% of working folks would love nothing more than a new job or career because their working conditions and overall career management are below par.
At school this is even worse. Some school settings are outright industrial in where they are located and how the buildings are constructed. They seem to be designed to merely serve the purpose of providing future workers for companies that will then provide a very similar working environment the newbies were used to from school: the box type building.
What is the antidote? Well, even though it may sound clichéd, but our business and school leaderships need to be the first ones who need to think outside the box. Creating a lively and inspiring work and school environment does not take much as long as everyone involved starts from establishing a suitable vision and mission around this goal. Then the tough work starts. Thinking concepts like this through will take time. With great preparation the final product will take a lot less hard work. Acting on this is even tougher.
One such building (watch the background story here) is the one at Aerzen USA. The intense grass roots efforts of a few folks turned into a movement that keeps catching on. Now think about our children and how they deserve a similar inspiring environment. If we want them to be able to think and act outside the box, let’s help getting them out of the truly boxy type schools of today and their boxed in curricula. Here are two examples (Avon Grove and Kimberton) how some schools have already begun making changes for the better.
Ultimately the choice is always yours and this is neither my time nor place convincing you of anything. But think about if you and your contributions are only a mere SAT score, or some other number. If so a shoebox building will do. If not, then please help for us all to start acting outside the box – and yes, this pun is intended.