Outside the Lines

We have a thing for lines. Yesterday, I was searching for a journal that had no lines in it. I finally found one that would suit my needs, but the vast majority of the ones I saw were ruled. Some had grids. Others were pre-printed to keep your life straight.

Then, I stood in line to check out. I started thinking about other times when I’ve been in line, someone has tried to cut in, and everyone who’s been waiting freaks out at the intruder, using some choice words to express their displeasure.

There’s something to be said for neatness and order. At least, there better be, since we spend our school years learning how to color inside the lines, be neat and develop organizational skills.

I only kid. There is beauty in order. Whenever I prepare something for publication (perhaps with the exception of these posts), I am all about alignment and flow. Sometimes to a fault.

Before I get to that point though, things are pretty free-flowing. I start with a blank sheet of paper or a whiteboard and just go to town. Why? Because I’m not forced to work within prescribed boundaries. When I can use my imagination to solve problems, I develop better solutions.

Which makes me wonder why we insist on aisles and checkout lines. Sure, it’s easier to manage, but is it effective? What are some other, better solutions?

Think about the parameters of your own business. What rules do follow in making decisions or working on problems or issues? What if you could approach a situation from a completely blank slate? No assumptions. No pre-conceived notions. No “because we’ve always done it that way.”

Just imagine the possibilities! Google did. So did Apple. And Dell. And News Corp.

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One Response

  1. […] Someone Else’s Train Posted on May 12, 2008 by cpmccrory Not only do we like our lines, we enjoy hopping on bandwagons as well (with a tip of the hat to The Cure for the title). The […]

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