Thinking Outside-the-Box

Moving Out of Your Comfort Zone to Find Innovative Solutions


We don't just teach – we inspire!


We help you change the world!

Vadim Kotelnikov

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

Inventor and Founder


Ten3 Business e-Coach


"Only the hand that erases can write a true thing."  – Erasmus


Steve Jobs' 12 Rules of Success



Thinking Differently: Two Barriers to Overcome

  1. Remove perceptual and cognitive limitations imposed by your own knowledge structures

  2. Be willing to discard the "old" paradigms that have served you long and well, with which you are both familiar and comfortable. This is the "box" in which you must not be trapped if you are to make progress.

5 Strategies for Creating a Culture of Questioning

10 Brainstorming Rules

  • Encourage outside-the-box thinking. Challenge assumptions. Be creative. Go crazy. Sometimes the wildest ideas lead to great ones. The wilder the ideas the better Step out of your shoes to surface new insights... More

The Jazz of Innovation

11 Practice Tips

TRIZ 40 Principles

  • The other way round.

    • Invert the action(s) used to solve the problem

    • Make movable parts (or the external environment) fixed, and fixed parts movable.

    • Turn the object (or process) 'upside down'... More



Discover much more!


5 Rules of Creative Thinking

10 Secrets of Creativity

5 Steps To Unleashing Your Creativity

Getting Away from Old Ideas

Creative Problem Solving (CPS)

Unlocking Your Creativity

Lateral Thinking

Creativity Quotes

Asking Searching Questions

Challenging Assumptions

"Why? What If?" Questions

Entrepreneurial Creativity

4 Pillars of Entrepreneurial Creativity

The Tao of Entrepreneurial Creativity

The Jazz of Innovation

11 Practice Tips

Creativity Management

 Case in Point

Adapted from Buzzmarketing: Get People to Talk About Your Stuff by Mark Hughes


Moving forward with buzz marketing philosophy, catapulted to the Top Ten list as one of the most trafficked retail sites on the Internet in less than a year, with budgets one-tenth the size of their competitors.

The entrepreneurs from managed to grow their startup firm from zero to 8 million registered users in less than three years. They looked for an interesting way to launch their site and e-venture – an amazing idea, something that would make people and the media talk about their site. They wished to use a buzzmarketing strategy.

At first they hired an ideation company that suggested the usual wild ideas, such as releasing a large balloon from Mount Rushmore... These were not really the kind of things that would make people talk about

After some time,'s team came up with a really interesting out-of-the-box idea. Find a place that has the word "half" in it, and convince them to temporarily change their name to A brief search in the US list of names of places brought out Halfway, Oregon (population 350).

In early December 1999, a representative of the marketing team paid a visit to Halfway, Oregon to ask Mayor Dick Crow if the town would consider changing its name to, Oregon. Although skeptical at first, Mayor Crow conducted in some preliminary discussions with and decided to direct the matter to the City Council for further consideration.

The council eventually agreed to change the name, and this is what happened:

On Wednesday, January 19th, NBC's Today Show was broadcast live from, Oregon, and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, corporate headquarters of, Inc. as the company launched its web site. Millions of viewers and Internet users throughout the country and the world experienced the proclamation of the World's First Dot Com City and the new person-to-person business model presented by It is a day the town will remember forever.

Before spending a single dime in traditional marketing, Half. com captured the attention of the media, and the Internet community. Time magazine called it "one of the greatest publicity coups" in history.

Twenty days after the launch, e-Bay called. Within six months was sold to eBay for US$ 300 million.

Inspirational Business Plan: Successful Innovation

Milestones Completed and Future Plans: "Once we rid ourselves of traditional thinking we can get on with creating the future." – James Bertrand... More

Toyota's 10 Management Principles

Leave Your Comfort Zone

Thinking outside the box is never easy, nor is it merely a reflection of mental brightness. To leave your psychological comfort zone and explore "solutions in the unknown world on the outside requires large measures of mental agility, boldness, and creativity – and/or a inspirational leader who makes life in the old box so uncomfortable that getting out is the only option. The future rests in those willing and able to do so."1

Challenge Assumptions

Challenging assumptions means questioning the everyday things you take for granted and getting away from old ideas. "The best assumption to have is that any commonly held belief is wrong," says Ken Olson, CEO of DEC... More

Step Out of Your Shoes

Change hats and your thinking mode. Stepping out of your everyday shoes and into the shoes of others may help you surface new insights to a problem... More

Ask Searching Questions

Creativity requires an inquisitive mind. Unless you ask lots of "Why?" and "What If"? questions, you won't generate creative insights. "To avoid this most common of creative errors, be sure to peek under all carpets, including your own. Don't take anything for granted. Especially success. Try looking at the world through more inquisitive eyes; try getting ideas in motion; try asking the all-important: "Why?" See what happens!" says Alexander Hiam.7 ... More

Jokes: A Car as Collateral

A Russian businessman walks into a Swiss bank in Geneva and asks for a $100 loan. He offers his luxury Mercedes car as collateral. The collateral is too good, and the bank manager approves the loan. A year later, the Russian comes back. He repays the loan and the 10% interest and is ready to collect his car. Finally, the puzzled bank manager dares to ask him: "Excuse me, sir, could  you tell me: did you really need that $100 so badly? In order to get the money, you left your luxury car with us for a whole year!" The Russian replied, "That's simple - just think outside the box:  where else in Geneva can I find such a great parking place for just $10 a year?"

Break Free of Routine

Falling into a routine can destroy your life.  Routine is so dangerous and so powerful that even the best of intentions can be knocked down for good because of it. Recognize if you are in a routine and break free. Sometimes it's a matter of an attribute we all seek in life – confidence. If you wish to change yourself and achieve more, you need courage and a strong belief in your ability to succeed.



Fun4Biz: Creativity Contests

Creative Problem Solving (CPS)

Why? What If?

Turning Problems To Opportunities


  1. Thinking Outside the Comfort Zone, Jerry Sentell

  2. Lateral Thinking, Edward de Bono

  3. Improve Your Lateral Thinking: Puzzles To Challenge Your Mind, Paul Sloane

  4. The Art of Happiness, HH the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet and Howard C. Cutler

  5. Motivation123, Newsletter by Jason Gracia

  6. How To Jazz Up Innovation, Linda Stern



Three SMART & FAST Ten3 Mini-courses

200 powerful Ten3 slides  ►  Click here!