The Creative Contrarian

Book description

Tackle your thorniest problems using the Wise Fool’s savvy Strategies! 

The Wise Fool is the archetypal contrarian known for his creativity, irreverence, and humor. He looks at life in unorthodox ways and pushes back against the status quo. Throughout history, powerful decision-makers (Egyptian pharaohs, Chinese emperors, Persian sultans, and European kings) consulted Wise Fools to question the assumptions that kept them mired in stale and obsolete solutions.  

In The Creative Contrarian, best-selling author (A Whack on the Side of the Head), speaker, and toy designer (Ball of Whacks) Dr. Roger von Oech provides readers with a fully-illustrated “Wise Fool Guide” to challenge established procedures and engage in creative thinking.  

Roger shows how to gain the confidence to speak up in “groupthink” situations — and boldly present a different perspective. From laughing at your most beloved ideas to test their validity to adding constraints to problems to reveal new solutions, he offers a framework for creativity that works in business, design, education, and anywhere new ideas are required — and appreciated! 

Employing a wealth of stories and examples, The Creative Contrarian presents 20 Wise Fool Strategies:  

  • Some offer ideas to enhance your creativity (“Reverse Your Perspective,” “Look for Ambiguity,” and “Kiss a Favorite Idea Goodbye”)  
  • Some provide tips on how to break away from the herd (“Buck the Crowd,” “Flex Your Risk Muscle,” and “Seek Other Right Answers”) 
  • And still others convey prudent warnings in an unpredictable world (“Exercise Humility,” “Imagine Unintended Outcomes,” and “Develop a Thick Skin”) 

Together, these jewels of insight will help you see things from the Wise Fool’s perspective! As the Wise Fool puts it: “Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it’s the only one you have”; and “Every ‘right’ idea eventually becomes the ‘wrong’ one.” 

The Creative Contrarian: 20 “Wise Fool” Strategies to Boost Creativity and Curb Group think is an indispensable resource for anyone seeking fresh solutions to common problems at the office, in the classroom, or at home.  

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Introduction
    1. Notes
  6. Part I: Meet the Wise Fool
    1. 1. What Does the Wise Fool Do?
    2. 2. Put on Your Wise Fool's Cap
    3. 3. The Wise Fool Strategies
    4. 4. Reap the Wise Fool's Bounty
    5. Note
  7. Part II: The Wise Fool Strategies
    1. Wise Fool Strategy # 1: Buck the Crowd
    2. Wise Fool Strategy # 2: Flex Your Risk Muscle
    3. Wise Fool Strategy # 3: Laugh at It
      1. Note
    4. Wise Fool Strategy # 4: Seek Other Right Answers
      1. Note
    5. Wise Fool Strategy # 5: Keep Playing with It
      1. Note
    6. Wise Fool Strategy # 6: Reverse Your Perspective
      1. Notes
    7. Wise Fool Strategy # 7: Fool Around with the Constraints
    8. Wise Fool Strategy # 8: Build on an Odd Idea
    9. Wise Fool Strategy # 9: Look for Ambiguity
    10. Wise Fool Strategy # 10: See the Obvious
      1. Notes
    11. Wise Fool Strategy # 11: Use Your Forgettery
      1. Note
    12. Wise Fool Strategy # 12: Drop What's Obsolete
      1. Note
    13. Wise Fool Strategy # 13: Kiss a Favorite Idea Goodbye
    14. Wise Fool Strategy # 14: Revisit a Discarded Idea
    15. Wise Fool Strategy # 15: Find What's out of Whack
      1. Note
    16. Wise Fool Strategy # 16: Stop Fooling Yourself
      1. Note
    17. Wise Fool Strategy # 17: Exercise Humility
      1. Note
    18. Wise Fool Strategy # 18: Imagine the Unintended
      1. Notes
    19. Wise Fool Strategy # 19: Develop a Thick Skin
    20. Wise Fool Strategy # 20: Shed an Illusion
  8. Part III: Use Your Wise Fool Know-How
    1. 1. Ask the Wise Fool Oracle
    2. 2. The Strategies as Daily Mantras
    3. 3. Have Fun!
    4. 4. Final Thoughts
    5. Note
  9. Selected Bibliography
  10. Index of Proper Names
  11. Acknowledgments
  12. About the Author
  13. End User License Agreement

Product information

  • Title: The Creative Contrarian
  • Author(s): Roger von Oech
  • Release date: October 2021
  • Publisher(s): Wiley
  • ISBN: 9781119843269