The real meaning of "thinking outside of the box"

In a brief blog post called "The Cubicle Warrior's Guide to Office Jargon," Lifehacker has reprinted (with permission) a few definitions of white-collar office life from Penelope Trunk's new book, Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success. These definitions are devastatingly funny, especially when they pertain to innovation:

Let's think out of the box: Really means, "Can you creatively

anemic people please come up with something?" The person who says,

"Let's think out of the box" is usually desperate for a new idea and

surrounded by people who are not known for generating ideas. So the

phrase is actually an announcement that says, "I'm in trouble."

I need someone who can hit the ground running: Really means,

"I am screwed." Because no one can hit the ground running. You need to

at least assess what race you're in and who else is running.

Do you have the bandwidth?

Note that bandwidth is not time. It is something else. If you ask

someone "Do you have time?" you mean, "Am I a priority?" If you ask

someone "Do you have bandwidth" you mean, "You seem like your brain is

fried. Can you pull yourself together to do this for me?"

Anyway, if you're interested in reading more from Penelope or (gasp!) ordering her recently-published book from Amazon, check out the site

[image: Brazen Careerist]

Related Articles

Why the world needs death to prosper

Scientists have developed new ways of understanding how the biological forces of death drive important life processes.

Surprising Science
  • Researchers have found new ways on how decomposing plants and animals contribute to the life cycle.
  • After a freak mass herd death of 300 reindeer, scientists were able to study a wide range of the decomposition processes.
  • Promoting the necrobiome research will open up new areas of inquiry and even commerce.
Keep reading Show less

Why birds fly south for the winter—and more about bird migration

What do we see from watching birds move across the country?

E. Fleischer
Surprising Science
  • A total of eight billion birds migrate across the U.S. in the fall.
  • The birds who migrate to the tropics fair better than the birds who winter in the U.S.
  • Conservationists can arguably use these numbers to encourage the development of better habitats in the U.S., especially if temperatures begin to vary in the south.
Keep reading Show less

How does alcohol affect your brain?

Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.

(Photo by Angie Garrett/Wikimedia Commons)
Mind & Brain
  • Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
  • Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
  • Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
Keep reading Show less