"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I am a raving fan of consultant Roger von Oech's creative whacks as embodied in his wonderful books & fun card decks, namely:


- '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 creativity guru 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 current dominant thought.

Once you focus on something, that thing becomes the foreground. Everything else around it will fall into the background.

Most opportunties are unfortunately hidden in the background.

The moment you begin to shift your focus, you are pushing the 'foreground' into the 'background', & pulling the 'background' into the 'foreground'. Get it?

'A Whack on the Side of the Head' will help you to break through your mental blocks. They will open up your mind for innovation. This book is filled with provocative puzzles, exercises, stories & helpful tips.

'A Kick in the Seat of the Pants' takes you on a guided tour through the four stereotype roles of the creative process:

- Explorer;

- Artist;

- Judge;

- Warrior;

Understanding - & applying - these roles will fire up your personal & professional creativity.

Tactically, they will change your mental focus as you change to play each of the four roles.

I would like to add one more role from what I have learned from the Japanese creativity experts:

Antique Dealer;

This singular role will allow you to combine all the four roles into one.

'Expect the Unexpected' uses thirty of Heraclitus' (the world's first creativity master) epigrams as creative springboards. It has intriguing questions designed to topple old habits of thought & fire up your imagination.

All the three fun card decks are basically extensions of the three books, to allow convenient usage during brainstorming sessions.

From my strategy consulting experience, these three fun card decks have proven to be inexhaustible sources of inspirations.

In fact, the 'Innovative Whack Pack' combines the creative power of both the 'Creative Whack Pack' & 'Ancient Whacks of Heraclitus'.

I strongly urge readers to seriously consider having the entire collection of Roger von Oech's creativity stuff added to your office or home 'Creativity & Innovation Library', & all the three fun card decks placed permanently next to your desk or lap top at all times.

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