Why We Think Inside Boxes & How To See Beyond Them: Rúna Magnúsdóttir – “The Change Makers” Interview

The idea of thinking outside the box has become shorthand for thinking creatively or differently. It’s become such a common expression that most of us have stopped thinking deeply about what it really means and what it entails. 

Not Iceland-based global citizen and personal branding coach, Rúna Magnúsdóttir, who has written a book with Nick Haines, “The Story of Boxes, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (to be published November 11, 2018), on the importance, from a business and human perspective, of thinking outside the box. 

Her “The Change Makers” group and the #NoMoreBoxes movement rallying cry are focused on raising awareness of the ways boxes limit and isolate us, and how thinking beyond them allow us to drive change and fulfill our potential.

Having spent a lot of time thinking and writing about the idea of boxed thinking (read Thinking Outside The Box To Make Better Client Connections), I was delighted to be interviewed by Rúna for her October 28 - Change Makers podcast. This was a fascinating discussion that covered the following:

1.  Why We Think in Boxes

To understand why we think in boxes we need to understand human behavior and the way in which we process and simplify the world around us. 

2.  We don’t generally recognize that we’re in a box

We tend to look at the world through blinkers that help us maintain focus but limit our perspective. It’s only when we bump into boundaries that we recognize we’re in a box.

3.  Why thinking outside the box matters

When our perspective is limited, we cannot see the world the way others see it. Unless we find ways to see the world from other perspectives we will fail to connect with others.  

4.  Understanding and delivering value to others is the key to success

It’s not what we want to deliver or communicate that matters, it’s what delivers value to audiences that matters.

5.  Self-awareness around the idea that we think in boxes is essential to thinking outside them

By understanding that we think in boxes, we have the opportunity to identify and change behaviors that may be getting in the way of success.     

6.  When you think outside the box, recognize that others are still in theirs

While thinking outside the box offers a path to achieve human potential, it is important to recognize that in a business or social context audiences are functioning in boxes – so engaging them can be a challenge.


If you’ve got 20 minutes, listen to the podcast to hear more about ways in which Thinking Outside The Box impacts entrepreneurs and communicators, and to find out more about “The Change Makers” Group.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Sincere thanks to Rúna for taking the time to do this. I’m planning to interview her soon for the Communicators-to-Communicators Insights Video series.


Simon Erskine Locke, Founder & CEO of CommunicationsMatchTM 

CommunicationsMatch offers communications & PR agency search tools and resources that help companies find, shortlist, and engage communications, digital marketing and branding agencies, consultants and freelancers by industry and communications expertise, location and size.  The site has 5,000 agency and professional profiles in areas including: crisis communications, public relations, internal communications, government affairs, investor relations, content marketing, social media, SEO, website development, photography and video. Prior to founding CommunicationsMatch, Locke held senior corporate communications roles at Prudential Financial, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank and founded communications consultancies.

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