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Kids: Natural Out-of-the-Box Thinkers

Updated on February 11, 2012

A Strawberry Spider

credit:  Aeden, 3-year old artist
credit: Aeden, 3-year old artist

The Challenge

In business, coming up with fresh or new ideas can sometimes be a challenge in itself. And just about any anyone have a hard time thinking out-of-the-box when trying to solve problems or just coming up with new ideas for products or concepts.

Most people have difficulty doing this because of preconceptions which have been ingrained in their way of thinking.

How can we get over this limitation? The answer isn't as tough as it may seem. Read on.

The Answer

The answer is quite simple. Look to kids.

Kids who are between the ages of 2 to 4 and who are able to express or articulate their ideas are the ones we need. They don't know much, but they are still too young to be constrained by adult preconceptions and biases.

If you pay close attention and listen to them, you will see what I mean. Here’s an example.

My grandson is 3 years old. He is starting to scribble. Most recently he drew what looked to be in the shape of a strawberry with lines coming out of it. His mom asked what it was. He said “strawberry spider”. I’ve never heard of a strawberry spider, but it does look like one if I ever saw one–this from a kid who is still too young to have any biases.

One of the things he does very well is to blend ideas or things that don’t seem to have any association. We as adults think there are no connections, but kids don’t know any better, and as such aren't restricted in anyway to make such associations.

The Bottom Line

We as adults are just too biased to come up with fresh ideas.

The next time you are in need of some fresh out-of-the-box thinking or ideas, round up some kids who are too young to know any better. You might be surprised at the ideas you get.

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    • savvydating profile image

      savvydating 3 years ago

      Fascinating concept. I've no doubt it's what we all need to do more of... to stop drawing within the lines when it comes creative endeavors. I remember when my son was little. I drew a picture of a long horizontal line with a huge hump in the middle (I believe I found the picture in the book, The Little Prince) and asked him what it represented. Most adults assumed the drawing represented a hat. My son piped right up and said, "It's a snake who just ate an elephant." Sure enough. That's exactly what it was.

      I liked the picture of the strawberry spider. Frankly, I thought it was brilliant. You're right, we need to find the nearest little kid to help us get our creative juices flowing in ways we hadn't ever imagined we were allowed to do...

      A lovely article. Thank you for the inspiration; I needed it.

      Up & interesting.

    • forlanda profile image
      Author

      Juancho Forlanda 3 years ago from US of A

      Thank you. Sometimes we just need to unbind ourselves from our adulthood and use a perspective of a child to start seeing things in a whole new light.

      Thanks for reading and commenting Savvy.

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