It's time to reach into our trusty Creative Whack Pack, and pull out a creative thinking strategy to ponder. Ready? Okay, here goes. It's Card #20 which is "Be Whacky."
One day a new product design team got into a really whacky mood and made fun of their product. They were zany and off-the-wall. The meeting was a great success, and many new ideas were generated. The next week, everybody was in a serious mood and no new ideas were generated. Moral: there's a close relationship between the "aha" of discovery and the "ha-ha" of humor, and being whacky stimulates your creative juices. As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu put it, "As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it." What crazy, zany things can you do with respect to your issue? What would that do? What can you take less seriously?
Here's a "Be Whacky" exercise I like to do in my seminars. I'll have participants make up off-beat and irreverant mottos for their products and companies as way to loosen up and get into a creative frame of mind. It works wonders. Here are several of my favorites:
- AT&T: "We've got you by the calls."
- Weyerhaeuser (forest products company): "At Weyerhaeuser we take a stand . . . and then cut it down."
- Stanford University: "In Tuition We Trust."
- Microsoft: "We're arrogant . . . and we should be."
- Kimberly-Clark: "We've got a product for every hole in your body."
Try this with your own group and your own products!