Breaking out of the mold of conventional wisdom. How can we think differently to make a difference.

By Brooke Strickland

"Think outside the box" is the modern mantra for business executives. Thinking outside of the expectations of others put upon us by society often means becoming a risk taker. Thinking individually and following one's inner voice, conscience or conviction may mean taking the road less traveled. Living life outside of the traditional molds accepted in western society are not often encouraged. Far too few children are freely encouraged at an early age to express themselves and take the risks necessary to discover a true calling and life's work. Fortunate are those who are given the freedom to explore themselves and their environments.

So, how does this translate to being a business owner, a doctor, and practice owner? It means that using traditional business theories may not always be the answer. Embracing the uniqueness of your practice and what makes it different than other doctors in your field is key to helping you become admired in your field, and in the end, established and reputable in the eyes of the patients you see. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, writer for the Harvard Business Review says, "Great companies work to make money, of course, but in their choices of how to do so, they think about building enduring institutions." [1] She goes on to say that companies are not just vehicles to make money, but instead should be viewed as places to provide meaningful purpose for the world as a whole and for the individual people they employ, as well. Through this way of thinking, leaders are building confidence in the people they employ and this sense of confidence goes far outside the workplace: it translates to the world and the people that you and your employees reach outside the workplace.

There is great value in thinking differently. Avoiding corporate mumbo-jumbo but instead establishing what the purpose and value of your practice means to your staff and patients means you're not just creating a successful practice, but instead an institution that stands apart as one that focuses on giving back to your community.

Detaching yourself from the norm, thinking in a more unconventional manner can help answer age-old questions or theories.

How can you think outside what's considered "standard" and make your practice stronger? Answering this will build something that transcends the generational, intellectual and multicultural divide and transforms an individual, corporation or practice into an enduring model for social good.


Kanter, Rosabeth Moss. ìHow Great Companies Think Differently.î Harvard Business Review.November 2011. Accessed July 26, 2012.