- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Anniversary, Revised, Updated edition (May 5, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446404667
- ISBN-13: 978-0446404662
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 123 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative Paperback – May 5, 2008
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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.
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It's core principle of "what's your 2nd and 3rd idea" (paraphrasing) is a useful one though - think of many possible solutions instead of just going with the first one.
The writing style was a bit tedious to me too - take one theory or statement, like "people use metaphors", and then fill pages upon pages of anecdotes that support that theory ("when people are tired they say *burning out*"). Plus some name-dropping of big corporations he's taught seminars too. Felt like the signal-to-noise ratio was low - the number of useful ideas & techniques was small compared to the amount of redundant pontification on each one.
I also read "Conceptual Blockbusting", and that book has been more helpful for me - covers a wide range of possible techiques and approaches, and creative blocks to watch out for, where this one seems to focus on just a tiny subset of that book's breadth, despite a similar number of pages.
A lot of people found the book entertaining and helpful obviously - maybe the style just didn't resonate with me personally, or covered stuff I already feel like I have a handle on.
Don't think that I gave everything away. You actually need to read the book and do the exercises to benefit from the author's wisdom and experience - he has had a long career as a consultant to companies that want to teach their employees how to be creative. Like any self help book, the difficult part is making a change in your thinking and sustaining that change. I like the last part of the book called "A Whack on the Other Side of the Head" which addresses the fact that creativity alone is not enough - you actually need to implement your best creative ideas.
I am going to focus on one mental lock at a time, starting with the "Right Answer" Lock. The idea is that when you think you have arrived at the right answer, ask youself "What is the second right answer?" And just keep generating ideas.
Every time I got new things out of it. I'm Loving it!
So happy to have this ebook version now. Waiting for Roger's Kick in the Seat of the Pants
All Roger's books, app, and Whack tools are far far more than 5 Stars!
Very very stimulating.
Whack the left and right side of my head, especially the right side.
Thanks a lot, Roger for your timeless great work!
I found a lot of value at the end of the book when covering the second whack. Understanding where you are taking your ideas is key and knowing when you need to be in explorer, artist, judge, or warrior mode is a great way to think about it.