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Guest Thinkers

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 PenelopeTrunk.com.

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[image: Brazen Careerist]


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