I believe the term “Think outside the box” is an overused cliche. What is this box? How big is this box? Is the box a representation of the limits management believes employees are able to think within? What if someone sets the box on fire? When gathering a team to solve a complex issue, do we really want to say we’re in a box? There has be to a better rally cry!
Enter Sharknado. As I boarded a flight home over the weekend, a gentleman sat down next to me and pulled out his iPad and notebook, and started watching “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” Every so often he’d chuckle, pause the movie and jot something down in his notebook.
After we landed, he closed everything up and put them back in his bag. Since the jet bridge was malfunctioning and we had to wait a few minutes, I asked him if his movie was good. His response was interesting: “No, it’s awful. But I started a new job with a company in downtown Minneapolis. Our mantra is if it worked in Sharknado, why can’t it work for us too.” He went on to say the ideas characters had in the movie were terrible, but somehow they made them work and didn’t die. When the team he works with is faced with a problem, and some of them can be quite large, “any idea is feasible until it’s not.” The team often uses one-liners from the movie, which is what he wrote down.
Instead of using an old cliche, this team has found another mantra to bring everyone together to solve complex problems. Solving problems may even be kind of fun for these people! Though I haven’t seen Sharknado, I think I’ll at least view some of the highlights on YouTube.