Leadership In Action

What Goes In The Box

April 24, 2013

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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Boxes are great inventions. They can hold just about anything – from mementos to gifts to files to refrigerators!


On the other hand, they can become depositories for indecision, which is often why, when folks are moving, they come across several “mystery” boxes from previous moves.


Just as a household needs boxes, businesses do as well.


A business needs structure, but it also needs creativity. Where a lot of organizations – especially the larger ones that have been in business a long time – go wrong is they try to put everything in a box. Then there are new, trendy businesses who try to do everything outside the box. Neither is a good model.


How do you know what goes in the box and what does not?

It is really very simple.


Things that need structure and protection go in the box. 

In a business, this includes scheduling, policies, business design, legal, insurance, and financial systems. Having these in place protects the organization. Visit them annually, but don’t change them often. Changing these items on a frequent basis weakens the foundation. Set them up solidly and store them safely.


Things that involve creativity and frequent change need to live outside the box.

Where a lot of businesses go wrong is that they try to keep everything in the box. This limits creativity and results in stagnation. This would include the creative areas like marketing, communications, product development…and to a degree, IT. If your organization has not updated its computer systems in ten years, it might be time to pull that out of the box. If you are doing the same things all the time and getting the same results, it is time to release your more creative players from the box. The results may surprise you.


Time to let your creativity out of the

“mystery” box?


  1. Great ideas here Deb. I like the way you layed it out…or boxed it up 😀 Very true as well. We definitely need to allow some things to be outside floating around ready for change but there are those that don’t need to be. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Deb Ingino says:

    Thanks for your comment Jared. Love what you’re doing out there!

  3. Deb, enjoy the way you tought the greates use of the box for protection and the frequency fo checking the box. The challenge I often find when working with organizations is that they protect, guard and often worship the box. They protect the box instead of the other way around. Great analogy.