Remember the huge cardboard boxes appliances came in?

As soon as that box was emptied, it became a place where your creativity blossomed, your imagination flourished, and where that cardboard box was turned into everything from a mansion to a space ship.

That box could transport you to another dimension or safely carry you across raging seas. Mine protected me from the hot lava surface that was our living room floor!

What child didn’t use their creative mind on the endless possibilities of a cardboard box at one time or another?

But then we grow up.  The cardboard box starts losing its magic, and we watch it turn in to something that holds our lives together.  We even call it “being in the box.”

Has your business become the adult version of a cardboard box?

As children, we had no self-imposed restrictions on where our minds would travel.  We weren’t afraid of what our peers would think.  We didn’t care if our ideas were silly.

But with age, comes “maturity” (well, really it brings conformity).  We don’t want to stand out.  We don’t want to be different. So, we stop using our creativity.  In Australia, they call it Tall Poppy Syndrome – you don’t want to be seen as being better than others in some way.  And you’ll be ostracized a bit if you are.

Look, business thrives on creativity.  New ideas can help us stand out from the crowd.  Research shows that creative companies consistently outperform their competition and get better results. Creativity is now viewed as one of the most important leadership quality among CEOs.


Here are four ways to reconnect with that magical, super-creative, cardboard-box thinking from when you were a kid.

  1. Embrace creativity! Encourage staff to brainstorm and share ideas no matter how crazy they might sound.  Be positive and let creativity surge from all members of your team without any judgments.
  2. Go for a walk. According to Stanford researchers, a person’s creative output increased by an average of 60 percent while walking.  That’s a huge bump for doing something that’s good for you anyway!
  3. Bring toys to the office. Yes, you read that right. Go get some Play-Doh or Legos.  Use your hands to build something while you are thinking about your business challenges.  It opens up different neurological pathways in your brain and allows ideas to flow.
  4. Get out of the office. Isn’t your office the ultimate betrayal of the cardboard box mentality?  The walls are solid, and there is an “adult” purpose to be there.  Rules are in place.  All those things work against you from a creativity perspective.  Also, a Gensler survey shows that innovators spend only 74% of their work week in the office while less innovative employees spend 86% of their time in the office.

Your possibilities are endless.  The world is full of abundance and opportunity.  All it takes is for you to reconnect with that cardboard box skill of imagination and a sense of fun.

Turn your business back into that cardboard box of possibility.

ActionCOACH of Madison, LLC, kicks a little ass and makes you a bunch of money.  Together we create awesome companies who are passionate about their people, their communities and their profits!  If you think YOU might be ready for coaching, apply at

*Thanks to the wondrous Chris Farley for creating the best motivational speaker of all time, Matt Foley!