We let go of cherished ideas and begin to seek new ways
of thinking, listening, collaborating, and doing.
Ever feel hemmed in by your own thinking? Or better still, do you even recognize that your habitual patterns may have short-circuited yourself? You end up doing things the same because, well, that’s the way we do things around here!
Roger von Oech’s work A Whack On The Side Of The Head: How You Can Be More Creative challenges readers to jolt themselves out of the same old way of approaching a problem or idea. In addition to his book (and he has written more since, including a new one released this month), I invested in his Creative Whack Pack: 64 Creativity Strategies to Provoke and Inspire Your Thinking. Each of the sixty-four cards asks us to examine our problem-solving approach. Questions help us whack ourselves on the side of the head and look at how we might change the rules of our thinking. Or, if not change, at least challenge what we think, say, and do.
When we whack our thinking, von Oech says, we begin to exercise our “risk muscle.” We let go of cherished ideas and begin to seek new ways of thinking, listening, collaborating, and doing.
Each card is a strategy in and of itself that helps us “recognize the dogma and shoulds that can cloud our judgment.” By doing this we are whacking our thinking. And that can help us move off the well-worn (and, possibly, less productive) path we have been traveling. It can help us mix it up. Sometimes, as he says in a recent blog post, we have to learn to zag instead of zig.
At times we might miss opportunities by not seeing what we want to/need to do because we continue to do things in a tried-and-true manner. It can limit our horizons.
Using a quote attributed to Carl Ally, von Oech offers that “either you let your life slip away by not doing things you want to do, or you get up and do them.”
To “get up and do them” might require whackin’ your thinkin’.
How can you whack your thinking this week professionally and/or personally?
Video recommendation for the week.
The opportunities we create when we challenge our thinking may help us amplify our idea and its reach. Listen to what amplification meant for one company.
Make it a wonderful week and HTRB has needed.
You will find my latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click here.
My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story. Please, check out her blog.
And you can still order:
- Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019, print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
- Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book). Available on Amazon. One college’s new faculty onboarding program uses the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos (see the link above) would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
You can find my podcasts (all fifty episodes) here.
You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®
Atlantic Beach, Florida