(Think Outside the Box is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
Think Outside the Box
Likely the most infamous of annoying manager phrases, think outside the box has gone from brilliance to cliché in less than a generation.
While this saying once forced us to cleverly consider how we attack problems; today, it merely forces us to hold back a light chuckle or a small puke.
More than any other annoying phrase in your manager’s arsenal, think outside the box signifies your manager is worthy of your contempt. By telling you unironically to think outside the box, your manager is telling you that he or she is not an adult, but a dolt. Someone so vapid and unoriginal they’re likely to bankrupt the company just by showing up.
If this describes your manager, you have a choice: quit now or be further sucked into the void.
Of course, some of you think working for a manager this dense is a good thing. You believe he or she is bound to get fired when the big boss learns just how truly simpleminded he or she is, right?
Wrong! The big boss either hired and/or promoted this dimwit. The big boss is likely a dimwit too. Moreover, when a dimwit becomes a manager, they never leave. Ever.
Time to dust off the resume and think outside the box.
Replacement phrases: Think creatively; Look at the problem differently; Try something new
See also: Paradigm Shift
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon