We’ve heard a thousand times that thinking outside the box (i.e., looking at a problem from outside an established set of rules) is an important skill for problem solving, but weblog Read/WriteWeb suggests that thinking inside the box has its own benefits.
Improv actors… have long utilised the benefits of inside the box thinking. Improvisation needs a clear catalyst, something to motivate the action, and for that reason improv actors are trained to be very specific with their dialogue. They don’t say, “what’s the matter?” they say, “are you still angry about that time I threw your necklace in the toilet?” The added constraints help them to jump into the scene and continue to be creative and riff off the idea.
While outside the box thinking also has its benefits, it’s also become a tired cliché—suggesting that at all times you need to take your thinking outside the box. Read/WriteWeb’s post is a refreshing return to the idea that sometimes constraints imposed by the “box” are used specifically because they work.