Saturday, February 19, 2011

Jack in the box


“You are lacking out of the box thinking?”, the statement very common in our white collar profession. The statement mostly used when politicized situation or performance review. Actually what exactly is “out of the box thinking”, as per Wikipedia

“Thinking outside the box is to think differently, unconventionally or from a new perspective. This phrase often refers to novel or creative thinking.”

There are several engineers, developers’ gets this feedback regularly but honestly they don’t know what exactly the reviewer meant. Based on my opinion, “out of the box thinking” is something innate ability or one has to go through elite schooling to get that, so who ever lucky to born with that are the best? I think there is something wrong with this notion, we are pushing people who are not really lacking “out of the box”. But there is something they are missing too. What is that? I think the answer is, most of them are “above average but narrow minded”. Narrow minded is not a bad thing; it is just a trait which can be easily changed.

Even a law written by several top-notch lawmakers and reviewed by several pundits, we have loop holes here and there. So are they missing “out of the box thinking”? I don’t think so, law should cover all possible permutation and combination but most of the law lacking this, which is, mainly because some “narrow minded” compromise and some "narrow minded" people genuinely missing to see some big picture. The same applies to software development also, developers miss to big picture due to narrow minded not because “out of the box thinking”. What we need is training to change that character not unnecessary overloaded labels which are unable to change.