Getting out of the box can make quite a few people uncomfortable. For many, who haven't typically been out of their box, it causes them to draw back instead of move out. I have worked with many people who have an aversion to creativity and creative solutions for this very reason. I have found four ways to move them softly, yet get them into a newer way of thinking and applying their energy:
Learn about the unusual or different in your industry or area of expertise - Who is doing things differently and making a difference as a result. Caution: this is not to copy ("We're going to do the Company X thing"), but to decompose principles, ideas, and data and custom use to create your own difference. This is best practices with a twist.
Research companies outside your industry or area of expertise - A good example was in a presentation I attended by Kevin Kelly of Ideo: Why would ER doctors study Nascar Pit Crews? Because their share some common areas and have addressed them differently, namely short time frames, high value subjects and life and death.
Study Systems outside of any industry - The best are natural systems. Why? They're lean, mean (and green) and have worked for a quite some time. They are self repairing and sustaining and they cooperate. One of the best examples is a case I outlined in my post for October 2007 about an award winning shower head.
Lastly, utilize metaphor, symbol and analogy - To think different think of your issue as something different. It allows both the good and the bad to be identified without pointing fingers and laying blame allowing you to move past conflict to new solutions.
Do you have any other methods or means by which to move the hesitant client? Let me know.