Logo Bridge the Gap with Cécile Guinnebault

Did you ever physically experience "thinking out of the box"?

Mis à jour le : 17 November 2022

Throughout lockdown, « thinking out of the box » was not just another buzzword. It was a necessity.

Over these 2 years, in my tiny home office in the most remote part of Normandy, I remained connected to the world thanks to the internet and I made amazing encounters and discoveries.

  • I already told you about The Learning Gym and Accelerated Learning.
  • Some of you remember Topia, which I sadly left to go back to face-to-face meetings. To be perfectly honest, I'm delighted to see my dear client in person again.
  • The Bx, an amazing thinking companion.

Those 3 discoveries have 2 amazing women and a fantastic man in common : Melanie Martinelli, Shilpa Subramaniam and Jimbo Clark. Today, I'd like to pay a tribute to Jimbo and his world famous Bx.

Who is Jimbo Clark ?

Jimbo was born and raised in the U.S. and has lived in Taiwan for over 20 years. He is an adult-learning innovation genius. Paradoxically, we met under lockdown, him in Taipei and I in Normandy. Who said you couldn't travel in Covid times ?

Jimbo founded Innogreat, with this welcoming statement:

No organization begins with the dream of being pretty good.
No leader took the promotion hoping that things will turn out just OK. No child imagines a future of just getting by.
We all dream of greatness.
Our mission is to help you innovate to greatness.

In a nutshell, nothing great gets done without ambition. And Jimbo applies this principle to what he does best: innovation in the field of adult learning. The B❒x is his masterwork. Jimbo's been working at it for over 15 years: facilitating with it, refining it, sharing it... with creativity and generosity.

Jimbo Clark and Mirjam Leunissen, working hard.

What is The B❒x ?

The B❒x is a physical metaphor of our worldview.

Outside, what people can perceive of it: our behaviors, our opinions.

Inside, what drives you to behave the way we do: our thoughts, beliefs, emotions. Long story short, the filters through which we see and interact with the world around us.

The principes behind The B❒x

Just as everyone has their one and only worldview, everyone has their one and only B❒x. 

Our B❒x is made of the learnings we made throughout life. It allows us to form our opinion, to solve problems, to make decisions. It is "perfectly designed to take us where we are now". Therefore, thinking out of the B❒x doesn't mean getting rid of it. We all need a B❒x to live in society.

But when we need to answer a challenging question, our B❒x can become too tight. Flexing our worldview then becomes an interesting way to answer our challenging question. It is this flexing process that Jimbo's B❒x embodies brilliantly.

How does the B❒x experience work ?

A skillfully designed introspective process

  1. The first thing I did when I received my B❒x was to make it "obviously mine". It doesn't need to be artistic, beautiful, or to make it look exactly like me. Anyway, I so suck at drawing that it would be impossible. Luckily, it just needed to be "obviously mine". That I could do.
  2. At the start of the session, I chose a challenging question I wanted to reflect on. Actually, I've done it a few times now, every time on a different topic. Every time, the process worked beautifully. I'll come back to this versatility, as I believe it is one of the B❒x's major strengths.
  3. Then I filled the outside of my B❒xwhat do other see, hear, feel from me on the topic my challenging question.
  4. Then comes the inside of the B❒x: what experiences, learnings have I made so far on my challenging questions? What are my opinions, my beliefs on that topic?
  5. Now is the time to ask: "where do I want to go from here". What is my desired outcome? What do I need to change in my behaviours and my thoughts to get there? What will it change for me?
  6. To answer those increasingly challenging coaching questions, The B❒x offers a line of questioning around filters.
  7. What would happen if I were more curious? more vulnerable? My systemic lens tells me that curiosity is a good cure for fear and vulnerability a powerful antidote to excessive control. But maybe I'm wrong...
  8. Eventually, a few questions about commitments wrap up the process.

A constructivist, non-normative coaching approach.

Everybody has a unique worldview. No one is asking me to change mine, but if my worldview is not helpful to solve a challenge, flexing it is an option worth exploring. I get to choose what I want to change and how.

How does the B❒x help thinking out of the box ?

It's robust

The physical B❒x takes us through a proven line of questioning that help me explore my worldview and ends with commitments, after helping me express my needs. Because it's simple and classical, it works on an infinite variety of topics.

It's versatile

  • The B❒x can be used individually as well as with a group.
  • It lends itself to topics as différent as:
    • Diversity & inclusion
    • Collective intelligence
    • Teamlife
    • Self confidence
    • Marketing target identification
    • Reflecting on the finishing year and planning the year ahead
    • Planning the next temps of my personal development
    • Committing to fight climate change
  • It lends itself to any facilitation or coaching style: the B❒x facilitator has endless space to adapt their delivery to meet their audience's needs.

It's powerful

The first thing I did with my B❒x was to make it mine. A straightforward way to realise my worldview is unique.

When I first I put my B❒x on my head, it felt stiff and narrow. But gradually, as I worked on the various sides of my B❒x, openings and foldings made it more comfortable to wear. As my thinking was slowly becoming more flexible, the B❒x on my head was becoming more cosy. Looking out, listening was becoming easier as well. My physical sensations perfectly matched my cognitive thinking.

In or out of the Box ?

It's fun

Going through the process makes introspection fun. Going out on the street with our B❒x on our heads, taking crazy selfies in a crowded area is also part of the fun. Possibilities are endless.

It's subtle

The B❒x is full of discreet nudges to note, remember, anchor learnings, ask for feedback... Leaving the session, I have put a lot of myself into this cardboard companion, but if I'm serious about answering my challenging question, there is a lot more I can do with it to make my answers come true.

My next steps in thinking out of the B❒x

Freshly certified to use the B❒x in my coaching programmes, I am currently designing a group coaching programme about self-confidence for a client. She immediately felt the potential of this wonderful thinking companion.

To be followed!

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