To think out of the box means to think ​imaginatively using new ​ideas ​instead of ​traditional or ​expected ​ideas. Think creatively, unimpeded by orthodox or conventional constraints. ‘Think outside the box’ originated in the USA in the late 1960s/early 1970s. It has become something of a cliché, especially in the business world, where ‘thinking outside the box’ has become so hackeyed as to be rather meaningless. The ‘box’, with its implication of rigidity and squareness, symbolizes constrained and unimaginative thinking. This is in contrast to the open and unrestricted ‘out of the box‘ or ‘blue-sky’ thinking. The encouragement to look for solutions from outside our usual thinking patterns was championed in the UK by Edward De Bono, the psychologist and inventor, who coined the term Lateral Thinking in 1967 and went on to develop it as a method of structured creativity.