Roger von Oech

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      « Set A Deadline to Goad Your Creative Juices | Main | Things Go Swimmingly at Huge Birthday Party »

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      david armano

      Roger,

      Are you familiar with the two types of working dogs? Sharp and Dull.

      The mind of a sharp dog, once trained is immediate. They obey comands instantly and don't delay with their response. They are reactive and consistant to commands. German Shepards and Dobermans are good examples of "sharp" Dogs.

      "Dull" dogs can also be trained, but their reactions can sometimes vary and are not as instantanious as their "Sharp" counterparts. Boxers are considered "Dull", they can make good guard dogs (though maybe not as effective as Shepards)--but they definitely have a "mind of their own".

      I know the difference personally because I owned a boxer. They're clowns at heart you can almost see the gears turning in their curious, expressive faces.

      Sharp and Dull both have their advantages. I'm personally drawn to "Dull" because I think things get really interesting when we "pause" before taking immediate action.

      Stephen Denny

      Roger: have been meaning to comment for some time as I'm a rabid fan of your writings here. Your references to Heraclitus resonate strongly with me -- my classical touchstones have mostly been the Stoics. Beginning each of my posts with, "Dear CMO", I could easily have just said, "My dear Lucilius..." as Seneca did. I've often thought about a series of posts on the subject of what Seneca, Marcus Aurelius or Epictetus would have thought of your marketing plan, but... things get in the way.

      Excellent advice throughout and many thanks for sharing it all with us!

      (David -- as an owner of a half-Shepard, half-Lab mutt, I am an authority on semi-sharp dogs).

      Roger von Oech

      Happy New Year, David.

      "Sharp" and "Dull" thinking (in dogs) — nice dichotomy. You could probably think of many places to apply it.

      If we use driving as a metaphor, I'd want my sharp thinker (quick responses) to be at the wheel in car chases (no-nonsense situations) and my dull thinker (slow wheels turning, "what'll I do next?) driving when I'm feeling expansive, open to serendipity, and not caring if I'm late.

      Roger von Oech

      Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I enjoyed visiting your site and reading your content. You've got some good ideas.

      Interesting thought about Seneca et al. A number of scholars consider Heraclitus as the philosopher who laid the conceptual foundations for Stoicism. (Although I think Heraclitus agree with Groucho Marx who said: "I wouldn't join a club that would have me as a member.")

      I think we all could benefit if we'd occasionally pause and read the ancients for their perspective.

      Scott Souchock

      This post reminds of the oft used phrase "sleep on it". Who knew it's roots were much older? Anyway, I use this technique, when possible, not only before creating something but often during the process. There are times when I'm going full tilt and think I have the greatest design known to mankind only to, the next day, realize that it's not so hot and needs more work, or a complete re-do. Unfortunately I've now got Kenny Rodgers GAMBLER lyrics in my head...know when to hold 'em/know when to fold 'em....

      Roger von Oech

      Scott: "Sleeping on it" is one of my favorite strategies. I can spend part of one day working on an idea — but with nothing really coming together. But — for me at least — after I've slept on it, things come together much better the next day.

      Otter

      But as Patton said you can wait to long. There is a law of diminishing return on the amount of information one can gather. Eventually you must make a decision, but the opportunity may have passed. Seek balance here.

      Don

      The mind of a sharp dog, once trained is immediate. They obey comands instantly and don't delay with their response. They are reactive and consistant to commands. German Shepards and Dobermans are good examples of "sharp" Dogs.
      http://www.rapidpig.com

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