Thinking Outside The Box

Wikipedia defines Thinking outside the box as a metaphor that means to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective. This phrase often refers to novel or creative thinking. To think outside the box is to look farther and to try not thinking of the obvious things, but to try thinking of the things beyond them

Is that to say that all of our normal thoughts are inside the box?

I can’t speak for other professions but I can attest running the operations for a large event relies on your thoughts being outside the box…all of them.

Using hay to soak up the water during 7 days of rain at the 2009 US Open at Bethpage instead of mulch or building decks would be one of the outside the box ideas. Mulch turning to mush doesn’t help and just creates another problem while construction of large amounts of decking would not be cost effective.

Using a floating player bridge to get the players from 18 green to the clubhouse instead of having them walk the long walk around the pond is another outside the box idea at the 2011 US Open at Congressional saving time and energy.

Using a temporary stoplight for a one lane vendor road instead of paying 2 guys to control traffic for 4 months is outside the box at the 2012 US Open at Olympic Club.

These are only a few examples but there are dozens more used at US Opens over the last 20 years and I am sure there will be dozens more over the next 20 years.

If you are in operations for any event these days, your world is outside the box and the ideas you have need to reflect that.

Doing the same thing year after year won’t save you the money or time it used to. It’s all about being on the cutting edge of new technology or coming up with new solutions to old problems.

There are usually dozens of ways to do the same thing but only about half of them are really good and will work exceptionally well. If you have one of these ideas, you will have to sell it, most likely within a very short window to get it done but they will stand the test of time over the years because they were well planned and not whimsical.

Don’t be afraid to think of new ways to achieve a goal, but give it the planning it deserves.

You need a plan.  You need us.