TNNWC Publications And Informational Products Division publishes The National Networker (TNNWC) Weekly Newsletter and The BLUE TUESDAY Report especially for entrepreneurs and early-stage venturers; free weekly subscriptions to these informative publications are available online to all entrepreneurial Members of TNNWC.

Membership in TNNWC is free (it's automatic for any subscriber to any TNNWC Publication) and available at our website. When you arrive there, just click on any of the JOIN US or BECOME a MEMBER buttons or links.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

LIVING OUTSIDE THE BOX: Box Turtles: A Management Challenge

Living Outside The Box with Joe J. Wallace

Mixing Outside the Box People with People that Cherish their Box

My most recent experience in a structured environment has been as the founding president and CEO of a public-private non-profit economic development entity in the Midwest. Coming from an entirely private industry background that measured success by commercialization of innovative solutions into a substantially public minded entity where the established protocol revolved around routines and paperwork proved to be a challenge. To complicate things three of our four operating divisions had board approved objectives that required so called “thinking outside of the box” to succeed. The fourth division needed much outside the box activity to become successful as well.

We were fortunate to have an embedded consultant who was a certified trainer for a process of teaching creative thought processes developed by Basadur Applied Creativity. A series of seminars was arranged to help the staff understand and perfect the creative process and to integrate it into the day to day operation. Some got it and embraced the concept, others struggled but eventually caught on, and a few just did not relate. One actually found a way to miss every class. In a moment of frustration, I blurted out the phrase “what good is it to think outside of the box if you don’t have the courage or the initiative to live outside of the box”. At that moment my slogan “Living Outside the Box” was born.

I am once again in the private world functioning as a business consultant, an author, and a general problem solver. My personal style and preferred way of operating is quite outside the box in a manner that Stanford Professor Tom Peters refers to as ‘Organized Chaos”. What I did reluctantly learn to accept was that some people just can’t function without rules, regulations, routine, and specifications to define most every phase of their day to day working life. I came to think of those people as “Box Turtles”, after a childhood pet that I had named Uncle Beasley. Uncle Beasley was perfectly content in his box as long as water and lettuce was supplied. When he was let out he managed to get lost or confused not unlike the employees who thrive on routine.

The good thing about Box Turtles is that they can be counted on to carry on the basic functions that every organization has that are repetitious, mundane, and predictable. They are very good at these tasks and will document their activities to the hour if asked. The challenging thing about Box Turtles is that they like their box. Box Turtles will also spend many efforts to herd the creative staff members into boxes and often do so in a passive aggressive manner. Therein lies the problem with mixing outside the box people with Box Turtles. These people do not understand or often even appreciate each other’s respective working styles.

Overall, I would conclude that through making the right assignments and forming teams that can work in similar fashions it is preferable to enable these two working styles to have minimal interaction. A creative person is always pleased to hand the routine work off and the Box Turtles are typically happy to have a constant stream of predictable tasks. In so much as the tasks are able to be done in a serial manner with a passing of the baton between each step, the separation of task method works well for teams of differing personas.

There is a place in the working world for both. Conflict arises only when free spirits and people who love the structure of the box try to impose their way of being on others. If you can manage the staff members who try to change the basic work styles of others success will be found. If not, conflict will reign.

For more information, please visit Joe's TNNWC Bio.

Membership is FREE!The NATIONAL NETWORKER™The BLUE TUESDAY Report™The NATIONAL NEWSPICKER™LEFT, RIGHT and CENTER™Specialized Financing & Credit EnhancementEmerging Enterprises Venture Capital Program™Merchant Payment Processing SolutionsNews Releases, Publicity and Public RelationsBUZZWORKS™ - Branding and Social Media DominationMarket Research, Surveys and PollsAssessment ToolsBLOGWORKS™ - Expand Your Search Engine Presence, Positioning and CredibilityAdvertise with Us!Selected Service ProvidersInternational Connections Service - Go GlobalIntelligence and Information OperationsInstant Mobile Communications, Applications and Training
Visit Our WEBSITE for more!
Capital, Traffic Building, International Customers and unique SERVICES.
The National Networker Publications™ produced by TNNWC Group, LLC
Resources for Business Planning, Development, Capital and Growth

Forward/Share This Article With Colleagues And Social Media:

No comments:

Blog Archive

BNI News Feed

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


Site Credits:

Featured in Alltop
ALLTOP Business
News Wire. HOT.
Cool Javascript codes for websites  Fabulous Free Calendars

Create FREE graphics at