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

Author : Von Oech Roger
Title : A Whack on the Side of the Head How to unlock your mind for innovation
Year : 1982

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When Roger asked me to write a foreword for his book, I was delighted. I think everyone needs an occasional whack on the side of the head to stimulate the ir thinking and this book certainly does do that. It's based on Roger's experiences the past few years helping people in business throughout the country to generale, manage, and apply ideas more effectively. I believe that his ideas will help you unlock your mi nd for more innovative thinking, and we certainly need a lot more of that. One of the benefits of writing the foreword is that it entitles me to share a few of my own ideas on the subject. Personally, I be lieve that innovation is a lot of fun. This is what has motivated me to try the various things I've done. Y ou see, I love to build. When I was a kid, my favorite toy was my erector set. Since then I've gone on to engineering and th en to business. I see each of these activities as a subset of the other. The creative aspects of how something is put together whether it's a toy bridge, or an array of integrated circuits, or a new company really excite me. With the toy bridge, you have to balance the pieces to create a sturdy structure. When you're building a new company, you have to create a product that people want, have hiring policies that attract good people, and provide an environment where they can be efficient and innovative. I've discovered that innovative people share certain characteristics. For one thing, they feel a sense of urgency-a desire to make their ideas happen. And they want to do them now, not next week, not the day after tomorrow, but right now. I like to set difficult deadlines for myself. That's because I believe that the ultimate inspiration is the deadline. Most people allow their jobs to expand to the time that's allotted. I think that one of the things that has made American business successful in meeting deadlines is the "Trade Show" phenomenon. The fa ct that twice a year, the creative talent in this country is working until midnight to get something ready for the tracte shows is very good for the economy. Without this kind of pressure, things would turn to mashed potatoes. l've also found that innovative people have a passion for what they do. I don't know if this passion is innate or not, but it can be snuffed out in a person. Think about it: how mu ch passion will Johnny exhibit if after every time he runs around the house and displays passion, he gets hit on the head and is told to "Sit down"? Y ou 're right, not mu ch. This is one of the things that makes being a parent su ch a challenge. I see characteristics in my kids that in an adult would be fantastic, and yet occasionally they drive me nuts. Sometimes, I have to catch myself and stop and listen to them. If I just say no, they will probably lose the inventiveness and imagination they will need to be creative wh en they grow up. I agree with Roger's premise about "mentallocks." Many times our own attitudes prevent us from being creative. While these "mentallocks" are appropriate for most of what we do, they get in the way wh en we are trying to be innovative. I have tried to keep my thinking flexible and free from these fetters. Here are a few thoughts I have on how I keep sorne of these locks from affecting my thinking. ...

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