The Beauty of Outliers

The beauty of outliers

Have you ever used something far longer than intended or for a purpose it was not intended for?  Think of children and their bunny or blankie.  They never leave home without them.  These are examples of outliers.  Outliers are great sources for new ideas and insights.

You might remember the bell curve from high school math.  Outliers are on the tails of those curves or even points outside the curve.  They can be the extremists or under performers, but they can tell us a lot.

Outlier ideas can come from unexpected sources or data points.  They can come from people with unusual backgrounds.

Outliers are the misfits, those that don’t fit in, ideas and concepts outside the norm.  They may seem strange or off the wall at first.  Outlier ideas may be adopted from other industries.


Outliers are great sources of ideas.  By looking for things that don’t fit in or extreme uses, you run the chance of finding something new, different, and potentially great.  So, next time you are generating solutions, look at the outlier information you have on the situation and unusual solutions.  Look for solutions that come from outside your industry’s norm.  You may be glad you did.

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