I am reminded of the book A Whack on the Side of the Head.
I google it to see what is up with the book and take this from the Unlimited, Inspiring Business website.
In 1983 Roger von Oech wrote A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can be More Creative. In the book, revised in 1990 and reprinted every year since then, von Oech knocks down 10 myths (he calls them “mental blocks”) stopping us from being creative. Here they are:
1. The right answer. Our education system teaches us to look for the one right answer. Trouble is, in business, as in life, there are often several right answers. “Many of us,” says von Oech, “have a tendency to stop looking for alternative right answers after the first right answer has been found. This is unfortunate because often it’s the second, or third, or tenth right answer which is what we need to solve a problem in an innovative way.”
Tip: Ask questions that solicit multiple answers
2.That’s not logical. Logic is great at the implementation phase of an idea, but when you are searching and playing with ideas, excessive logic can short-circuit your creative process.
Tip: Try some “soft thinking”. Ask “what if?”, “why not?”, "what rules can we break?”, “what assumptions can we drop?”, “how about we look at this backwards?”
3. Follow the rules. Most organisations have rules that were once sensible but are now obsolete. We tend not to challenge them because “that’s how it’s always been”. Breaking the rules won’t necessarily lead to creative thinking, but it’s one avenue.
Tip: Have rule-inspecting and rule-discarding sessions within your organisation.
4. Be practical. Most people have a natural tendency to be critical of new ideas and focus on why they won’t work.
Tip: Try evaluating a new idea, not on its practical merits, but as a provocative stepping stone to come up with other ideas, some of which might eventually work.
5. Play is frivolous. Some good ideas emerge from necessity or deadline pressure. Just as many come over a boozy lunch, or when you aren’t thinking about the problem too seriously.
Tip: Introduce humour or wackiness into a meeting to stimulate the flow of ideas. Make your workplace a fun place to be.
6. That’s not my area. Many exciting ideas have come from transferring knowledge from one area into another. But most people don’t consult colleagues in other disciplines to get answers to problems. The more specialised you are, the less likely you are to explore other fields.
Tip: Develop the outlook that wherever you go and whoever you talk to, there are ideas waiting to be discovered.
7. Avoid ambiguity. Many cultures use the concept of an “oracle” to take advantage of our ability to make sense out of ambiguous situations. The oracle gives its pronouncements in an ambiguous way, and leaves its hearers to come up with a creative interpretation. Trouble is, these days we tend to avoid ambiguity, seeing it as a potential cause of communication problems and time wasting.
Tip: If you are giving someone a problem that has the potential to be solved in a creative way, try, at least initially, to pose it in an ambiguous way, so as not to restrict their imagination.
8. Don’t be foolish. The classical “fool” was an antidote to the yes-men surrounding the king. His role was to parody the common view on an issue and force the king to re-examine his assumptions and entertain alternative ideas.
Tip: If you are in a rut about a problem, try freeing up your thinking by taking the contrary position or disagreeing with the common sense view.
9. To err is wrong. From an early stage we are rewarded for the right answer and punished for the wrong one. We learn to keep mistakes to a minimum. Actually there are two benefits of failure: you learn what doesn’t work, and you get an opportunity to try a new approach.
Tip: If you aren’t making many errors, ask yourself, “How many opportunities am I missing by not being more aggressive?”
10. I’m not creative. A major oil company hired psychologists to find out why some of its engineers produced more creative product than others. The answer: the ones doing creative things thought they were creative; the others didn’t think they were.
Tip: A major factor differentiating creative people from the rest is that they believe their small ideas could lead to something bigger and build on these ideas. Do it.
Von Oech's website can be found at http://www.creativethink.com.
May today be one of creative thinking and fun, all ways, all days!! For myself, I am trying to see the color in this ever-changing array of grays. Rain continues. It does amaze.