Even as the dossier on the havoc caused by COVID-19 gets bulkier, it is time we also focused attention on an issue which either often gets glossed over or is not accorded the importance it deserves during all the discussions on the pandemic the need to substantially expand our capacity to think outside the box.

The upheaval triggered by the novel coronavirus has clearly made it evident that we must stretch the limits of our ability to think creatively for being able to better deal with volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (or VUCA as it is sometimes referred to). And junk our existing playbook on outside-the-box thinking for a new one that could prove more useful in this regard.

Moving the needle on thinking outside the box could ensure that going forward we do not find ourselves panicking when faced with a simultaneous health and economic challenge, even if that be bigger in magnitude than the one which confronts us now. Doing so may also benefit businesses, including those that have always prided themselves on their ability to think outside the box but still appeared completely clueless about what to do for quite a few months following the WHO declaring COVID-19 a pandemic.

Until the advent of the novel coronavirus in our lives, many of us had gotten used to passing off incremental improvements arising out of our unconventional ideas to showcase ourselves as great outside-the-box thinkers. But as events since March 2020 have proved, we may have been deluding ourselves only doing that.

The new normal world that we inhabit today demands a fresh approach to thinking outside the box. Cultivating the trait of being able to think through issues more deeply and that, too, in a completely new way could help us meet the future with confidence and thrive in a post-COVID environment.  

(This first appeared as a blog on https://rmconsulting.in)             


  • Sumali Moitra


    R M Consulting

    Sumali Moitra is an Advisor at the Gurgaon (Delhi Area), India-based communications and stakeholder advisory R M Consulting (https://rmconsulting.in). He has previously worked as a journalist with The Times of India and thereafter headed corporate communications at the country's National Skill Development Corporation.