A Whack On The Side Of The Head

Type of record:
  • Creativity technique
  • Tool
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Ideal innovation phases for this method:
  1. Innovation Phase
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. 9
  11. 10


Roger von Oech's book deals with ten mental blockages that prevent you from being innovative. The author shows methods to break through these blockades.

Von Oech describes his methods from his experience as a creative thinking consultant for companies such as Apple, ARCO, Colgate-Palmolive, DuPont, Hughes Aircraft, IBM, NASA, Pizza Time Theatre, Sears, Tektronix, Wells Fargo Bank and Xerox.

The most important contents of "A Whack On The Side Of The Head" summarized:

- 36 tips to break through mental blockages.
- Use both "soft thinking" and "hard thinking" in a targeted manner after you have
I'm sorry I didn't understand the difference.
- Breaking rules as a way to innovation.
- Using useless ideas as a stepping stone on the way to usable ideas.
- Find places and search fields to hunt for ideas.
- Practice playing the "fool" and understanding why this is a creative thinking strategy
- Find out why creativity can be both constructive and destructive.
- Understand why "playing" is the father of invention.
- Discover the "third correct answer" as the often more creative one.
- To discover both the "artist" and the "judge" in oneself and to find both in the right
I'd like to get on the train for a moment.
- Allow yourself a certain dose of ambiguity/multi-interpretations in order to be able to
to stimulate thinking.
- Discover that sometimes "light blows to the back of the head" are quite useful in the figurative sense.

These "blows" are all events that lead us away from our routine paths and force us to go other ways of thinking. Changing routines helps us to new points of view and perspectives. The book is full of suggestions, exercises, anecdotes, drawings and examples of how others have achieved creative success - and how the reader can achieve it. As explained in the preface, it is not absolutely necessary to read through the book from beginning to end - it is also possible to pick out chapters at will or by chance and be inspired by them.
  • Effective for all innovation types
  • Effective for disruptive innovations
  • Effective for highly complex challenges
  • Effective for incremental innovations and improvements
  • Effective for low complex challenges
  • Effective for medium complex challenges
  • Effective for radical innovations
  • P5 Idea Finding (ideation - idea generation - creative phase - incubation)
  • P6 Idea enrichment (idea combination - idea integration)
  • P7 Idea selection (voting - evaluation - filtering - deciding)
  • P9 Fighting for ideas (building commitments - generate fundings)
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