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Paperback A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You can be More Creative Book

ISBN: 0446391581

ISBN13: 9780446391580

A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You can be More Creative

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

This is the 25th anniversary edition of the creativity classic by Dr. Roger von Oech. Over the years, A WHACK ON THE SIDE OF THE HEAD has been praised by business people, educators, scientists,... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

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Creativity = willingness to err + ability to recover

This book - A Whack on the Side of the Head, even with its subtitle (How You Can Be More Creative) - conveys an exclusively humorous message. That is what I thought. However, while the writing is clearly entertaining and relaxing, the message is a serious one and the author communicates it effectively. In ten brief chapters the book describes essential blocks for creativity. Creative thinking allows for the possibility that the right answer can be illogical, and one get that answer only by following some rules of thumb while breaking others, as long as in this frivolous play people do not lose more than they gain. This is the gist of Chapters 1 - 5. Subsequent chapters recognize that specialization aids productivity and hence gains from exchange. However, there is the obvious caution that too narrow an area of specialization stifles imagination. Thus, it does not hurt to "occasionally, let your `stupid monitor' down, play the fool, and see what crazy ideas you can come up with" (p.128). The reason is that in creative efforts ambiguity pays; to err is not to do wrong. Temporary failure is sometimes better than temporary success, for `if you hit every time, the target is too near or too big' (p. 154). And so, creativity is not the lack of ideas, it is absence of action on the many ideas we all have. I like this book and would not hesitate to recommend it. Amavilah, Author Modeling Determinants of Income in Embedded Economies ISBN: 1600210465

A must-have book in your Creativity & Innovation Library & must-have card deck on your desktop!

I am a raving fan of Roger von Oech's creative work as embodied in his books & card decks, namely: Books: - A Whack on the Side of the Head; - A Kick in the Seat of the Pants; - Expect the Unexpected; Card Decks: - Creative Whack Pack; - Innovative Whack Pack; - Ancient Whacks of Heraclitus; I have used all his creativity stuff ever since I started my own strategy consulting ( & book store) business in late 1991. From my personal & professional experience, I would like to say that the entire collection of Roger von Oech's creative work has been designed to serve three strategic purposes: - understanding - & removing - your mental blocks; - breaking your habitual patterns; - shifting your focus & changing your paradigms; As a matter of fact, once you appreciate & commit to these three strategic purposes in your life, you will soon realise that there is nothing in this world to stop you from getting rid of old ideas & getting new & fresh ideas. Allow me to quote Edward de Bono: "...the mind is habitually uncreative - it is usually preoccupied with organising masses of incoming data into convenient patterns. Once this pattern is established, then the mind tends to rely upon that pattern in future situations, in order to facilitate decision making & action in an otherwise complex world..." (The Use of Lateral Thinking). Breaking old habitual patterns is definitely the first & foremost priority in your journey to creativity! Once your shift your focus, you begin to change your paradigms or the way you look at the world around you. Always remember this: Your brain follows the direction of your dominant thought. Once you focus on something, that thing becomes the foreground. Everything else around it will fall into the background. Most opportunties are unfortunately hidden in the background. The moment you begin to shift your focus, you are pushing the 'foreground' into the 'background', & pulls the 'background' into the 'foreground'. Get it? 'A Whack on the Side of the Head' will help you to break through your mental blocks. They will open up your mind for innovation. This book is filled with provocative puzzles, exercises, stories & helpful tips. 'A Kick in the Seat of the Pants' takes you on a guided tour through the four stereotype roles of the creative process - Explorer, Artist, Judge & Warrior. Understanding - & applying - these roles will fire up your personal & professional creativity. Tactically, they will change your mental focus as you change to play each of the four roles. I would like to add one more role from what I have learned from the Japanese creativity experts: Antique Dealer. This singular role will allow you to combine all the four roles into one. 'Expect the Unexpected' uses thirty of Heraclitus' (the world's first creativity master) epigrams as creative springboards. It has intriguing questions designed to topple old habits of thought & fire up your imagination. All the three card


I did seminar and workshop on entrepreneruship and creativity and have read probably about 20 books on creativity. And i have to admit this is the BEST BOOK on creativity. this is THE CLASSIC book on the subject. The author hs just written a new book (EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED) but this onw is WAY SUPERIOR and BETTER.This is an old book but still freash to read and delighting to enjoy. The samples and the materials are easy to read yet very2 strong and useful.I gave away this books to friends who want to learn more about creativity and want to change his/her attitude toward life.Most people know that creativity is one of the key element of success yet so few take action of any sort to do something about it. So do yourself a favor, go and buy this book, read, and start think about it in your daily life. it will be beneficial for your future success and happiness.

Yes, It's True...You Really Can be More Creative

This book should be read in combination with A Kick in the Seat of the Pants...and preferably read first. Just a suggestion. Von Oech demonstrates in his thinking and in his writing the same principles he advocates so eloquently. In Whack, first published in 1983, he identifies ten "locks" which limit (if not preclude) creative thinking: The Right Answer That's Not Logical Follow the Rules Be Practical Play Is Frivolous That's Not My Area Avoid Ambiguity Don't Be Foolish To Err Is Wrong I'm Not Creative How does each limit (if not preclude) creative thinking? How can each be "unlocked"? To what extent are these barriers interdependent? Von Oech devotes a separate chapter to each of the ten, answering these and other questions while providing various exercises in support of his explanations. Whack will be immensely valuable to executives in any organization which needs a culture within which to generate and then nourish fresh ideas and new perspectives. The same is true of all self-employed people (especially independent consultants) whose customers or clients expect them to address the same need. Finally, I think that school, college, and university classroom teachers can devise all manner of appropriate applications of von Oech's ideas. When you listen to Richard Feyman's lectures on physics (now available on audio cassettes), you suspect that he has read all of von Oech's books. He probably didn't. Nonetheless, he and von Oech are kindred spirits. In addition to von Oech's A Kick in the Seat of the Pants, there are other excellent books also worthy of your consideration. They include those written by Edward de Bono, Guy Claxton, Michael Michalko, and Joey Reiman.

My Students Loved It! Highly recommended!

I used "Whack" as required reading in a class I teach on creative thinking. It really opened up their minds. They asked a lot of good questions and created some wonderful projects.
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