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A Whack On the Side of the Head Paperback – May, 1983


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"Awaken the Spirit Within: 10 Steps to Ignite Your Life and Fulfill Your Divine Purpose"
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 141 pages
  • Publisher: Creative Think; First Printing edition (May 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0911121005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0911121001
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #681,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By cortezhill VINE VOICE on April 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
A Whack On the Side of the Head is about the ten mental locks that prevent you from being more innovative - and what you can do to open them. It's based on Roger von Oech's experiences as a creative thinking consultant working with such clients as Apple, ARCO, Colgate-Palmolive, DuPont, Federal Reserve Bank, GE, GTE, Hughes Aircraft, IBM, ITT, Kaiser, NASA, Pizza Time Theatre, ROLM, Sears, Tektronix, Wells Fargo Bank, and Xerox.

What you will learn by reading this book:

* You'll get 36 tips to help you open the ten most common mental locks.
* You'll understand the difference between soft and hard thinking, and find out when to use each type.
* You'll learn why breaking the rules can be the avenue to innovation.
* You'll find out how to use impractical ideas as stepping stones to practical, creative ideas.
* You'll identify the places where you "hunt" for ideas.
* You'll learn how to play the fool, and why this is an effective creative thinking strategy.
* You'll find out why creative thinking is not only constructive but also destructive.
* You'll understand why play is the father of invention.
* You'll find out why the third right answer is usually more creative.
* You'll find out that you have both an "artist" and a "judge" within you, and when each is appropriate.
* You'll learn how a little dose of ambiguity can stimulate your thinking.
* You'll discover why a "whack on the head" can sometimes be the best thing to happen to you.
--- from book's back cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jill Clardy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book at an airport bookshop a couple of years ago and read it through during one flight - I absolutely could not put it down. I dog-eared the pages, wrote in the margins, underlined and highlighted the heck out of it. Then I kept it on my bookshelf in the office and referred back to it from time to time when I needed a refresher or to help me think my way through a problem or challenge or when I just wanted to let my mind wander down unfamiliar paths.

Many of us fall into the trap of thinking that we are not creative because we cannot draw or paint or play a musical instrument - those skills that we think of as "artistic"; but the fact is that we need creativity to survive, and do our jobs and enhance our daily lives. Sometimes a "whack on the head", e.g. unlocking our minds, is all it takes to release the creativity. This book debunks the myths and provides exercises to help us provide that whack on the head.

The author lists 10 mental locks which get in the way when we're trying to be creative.
1) the right answer,
2) that's not logical,
3) follow the rules,
4) be practical,
5) play is frivolous,
6) that's not my area,
7) don't be foolish,
8) avoid ambiguity,
9) to err is wrong, and
10) I'm not creative.
Haven't you heard or even said every single one of these?

A "whack" is anything that gets us off our routine paths and forces us to think differently and break through those mental locks. Changing your routine from time to time or getting a different point of view can help. The book is full of suggestions, exercises, anecdotes, sketches, drawings and examples of how others have become more creative and how you can too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By V.H. Amavilah on February 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
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
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