I know I am late pointing to this WSJ article 'thinking out of the box is a waste of time'. One of the big catch phrases I heard when I got into the area of Futuring and Innovation was 'think outside of the box'. Of course this often came out of the mouths of the people asking for ideas not the ones developing them. I did read Rushkoff's book 'Get Back In The Box' and it really put some much needed perspective on ideating and creative solution solving.
The problem with innovation as a practice being done by internal constituencies is that we tend to think there is no more fertile ground internally for ideas to grow in. We HAVE to look out of the box because we assume we have exhausted everything inside. If there were good ideas and innovations left we would not have created this department ... duh! Not so - patience and perspective are key to pulling out the most valuable ideas and innovation from inside the organization. Honestly, who knows your company better than your employees? So why not count on them to speak up on the process improvements, major strategic goals, and even product design and construction. Innovation is about application of technology
to solve problems and trust me, our employees know more about your problems than you do!