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A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative Paperback – December 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Business Plus; Revised edition (December 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446674559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446674553
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #713,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

ROGER VON OECH is the president of Creative Think, a California-based consulting firm that has conducted creativity seminars with such companies as American Express, Apple Computer, AT&T, CBS, IBM, NBC, and NASA. He earned his doctorate from Stanford University in a self-conceived program in the history of ideas.

More About the Author

Roger von Oech is the founder and president of Creative Think, a California-based consulting firm that specializes in stimulating creativity and innovation. He has given seminars and presentations to corporations worldwide, including Coca-Cola, GE, Disney, Intel, MTV, Microsoft, NASA, Apple, Citigroup, and the United States Olympic Committee. He is the author of two previous creative-thinking books, A Whack on the Side of the Head and A Kick in the Seat of the Pants, as well as the popular Creative Whack Pack card deck. He lives with his wife and children in Atherton, California.

Customer Reviews

A delightful book that is easy to read.
G. Barker
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to be more creative, after you read this book, there is no limit to where you can go...
Jose Gabriel Espinoza
A great book on creative problem solving.
P. Jacobs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
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.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book deserves 8 stars out of 5! My first encounter with this book came when my roommate gave it to me as a Christmas present. She had read it in a creativity course and said this book changed her perception of the world and helped her be more creative.It is clearly organized and very easy to understand. Plus, it gives you the tools to apply its ideas to your problems in order to find creative solutions. Now a year later I give A Whack on the Side of the Head to my friends for Christmas! I also loved his new product on Heraclitus, the ancient Greek philosopher. The cards feature thirty sayings that will make you think about the world and your problems in a whole new way. Kudos Roger von Oech on all your creative thinking tools.
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Format: Paperback
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.
Read more ›
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful By T SANTOSO on May 7, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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