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A Whack on the Side of the Head
– Roger Von Oech

“It’s difficult to get your creative juices flowing if you’re always being practical, following rules, afraid to make mistakes, not looking into outside areas, or under the influence of any of the other mental locks.” 

In our day to day lives, we seldom have a need to think outside the box. We tend to do more of the same thing day in and day out. When situations arise where we need to think outside the box or draw on our creativity, many people cannot do so. The reason why according to Roger von Oech is due to mental locks. “The hallmark of creative people is their mental flexibility. They are able to shift in and out of different types of thinking depending on the needs of the situation at hand. Sometimes, they’re open and probing, at others, they’re playful and off-the-wall. At still others, they’re critical and fault-finding. And finally, they’re doggedly persistent in striving to reach their goals.”  These four types of thinking translate into four roles, the explorer, the artist, the judge, and the warrior. The Whack Pack, a deck of cards that comes with the book, can be used as an oracle. Ask a question and choose one card from each role, then let your mind travel down different roads. In his book, A Whack on the Side of the Head, von Oech describes ten mental locks and focuses on strategies of how break these locks and free our creative souls. A quote by Neil Postman captures the problem von Oech is trying to solve: “Children enter school as question marks and leave as periods.” We need to recapture the magic power of the question! [From: Creating.bz]

“Knowledge is the stuff from which new ideas are made. Thus, the real key to being creative lies in what you do with your knowledge.”

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, homemakers, artists, youth leaders, and many more. The book has been stimulating creativity in millions of readers, translated into eleven languages, and used in seminars around the world.

Now Roger von Oech’s fully illustrated and updated volume is filled with even more provocative puzzles, anecdotes, exercises, metaphors, cartoons, questions, quotations, stories, and tips designed to systematically break through your mental blocks and unlock your mind for creative thinking. This new edition will attract an entire new generation of readers with updated and mind-stretching material. [From: Barnesandnoble.com]

“There are two kinds of people in this world: those who divide everything into two groups, and those who don’t.” 

For more than a quater of a century, one book has been a consistent leader in stimulating creativity and innovation… A Whack on the Side of the Head. Now Roger von Oech’s classic work on creativity is back-and better than ever-in this special twenty-fifth anniversary edition. Revised and updated with new ideas, this definirive edition offers more stories, examples, and exercises to bring its famous innovation boosters to a modern generation. Learn how to; overcome the ten biggest mental locks and unleash the full potential of your mind, use the four roles of the creative process-Explorer, Artist, Judge, and Warrior-to generate and apply new ideas, exploit the power of discontinuity, constraints, and ‘playing the fool’ to find the ‘second right anwser’…and much, much more! [From: Hatchette.com.au]

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