Roger von Oech

Creative Think

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I was doing a meme on goals and initially started to list the standard wants. By asking what I want to feel rather than want I came up with the results that I could be passionate with. -contrary position.
Your post named the tool I was using but on a conscious level. So I have put it in my tool chest. Thank you

Valeria Maltoni


This is a natural for you. I so love that illustration, btw! A slightly different thinking about fools. Sometimes our CEOs and executive teams need a fool to set them straight. This is the advisor who is not afraid to say what's what, yet has learned to dress it up so he won't be shot as the messenger. This may mean she will:

* Find the right moment to share insights on what's really going on
* Figure out a way to say it like it is with a humorous twist to send the pill down
* Position the feedback as a different way of looking at things, and possibly value-add, as you suggest

Somehow the dynamics change when people get to the top. Often, they stop believing they still need to grow and that employees within their organization can have tremendous insights into the kingdom. That's why they need a fool to remind them.

My favorite fool story is King Lear -- where literally King and Fool swap places.

Carma Dutra

Great post.

You listed many tools an entrepreneur needs in order to succeed. One that stands out is reversing our standard assumptions.

The creativity inside us begs for the fool to visit occasionally.

Robert Hruzek

Roger, what a remarkably appropriate April Fool's post! Thank you for reminding us of the importance of "foolish" thinking. Right - foolish like a fox!

I've GOT to think of a story that fits this one! Stay tuned...

Austin Kronig

My foolish thinking...?

Gotta be the stock market. Last year, I went against conventional wisdom and bought Google back when it was at $215 a share (and cashed out at $435 w/in eight months). At the time, most people viewed Google as over-hyped, dangerous, and way too pricey. I used the same methodology when investing in companies like Intuitive Surgical and Lifetime Fitness, both of which I banked over 100% returns. On Wall Street, if you follow the herd, your bound to end up with average returns. It's all about taking an active contrarian approach to things, searching in areas that are undetected and forsaken by others.

So I guess your post is pretty applicable to making money in the stock market. If you presented this piece to any investor, I'm willing to bet that they'd see larger profits. That's why I'm a big advocate of Motley Fool, and have subscribed to their Hidden Gems service for two years now.

Like Steve Jobs would say, "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."

Roger von Oech

Peter: Good for you. Using the Fool's "Take the Contrary View" is a good technique for opening up one's thinking.

Valeria: You are on dead on. The last thing senior management needs is a lot of "yes-men" hanging around. There is a real place for "corporatee fools."

I love Lear as well. And also the Akira Kurosawa film "Ran" (1985) which I highly recommend to everyone.

Carma: You need to be a bit of a fool to spot the new opportunities.

Robert: I'll be looking for it.

Austin: Thanks for examples. I know a lot of people who've made considerable money investing against the herd. May your instincts stay sharp!

Shakespeare's Fool

As I read “Lear” Lear was never a “fool” in the Shakespearian Court Jester sense of the word. But in the Chronicles of Folly, Lear is a leading contender for Shakespeare’s King of Fools.
When he says, “Get thee glass eyes and like a scurvy politician seem to see the things thou dost not,” he may be delivering a message a court jester would intend, but is he saying it as a court jester would or as a king would?

Even so, thinking of Lear and his Fool as changing places could lead to some interesting interpretations.

Great post. What a fascinating list of ways to think.
As they say on The Motley Fool, “Fool on!”

Carolyn Manning

For the record, I pour the cream in the cup before the coffee goes in.


I've just seen your contribution to 'The Age of Conversation'

Thank you. Sincerely. Now I have a better understanding of why I do what I do and my usefulness to other people.

I am a fool!



I think like a fool. A fool in love. I am such a fool that I am willing to be called bad names by people who think that my relationship is taboo. I keep reading how bad it is to be involved with a married man and how no good will come of it and how it might hurt someone...blah...blah..blah.

Please read this..the thinking of a fool in love with someone who is taken. I don't care. I never knew love until I met him.


Here is something I wrote to try and come to my senses about you. I started making a list of reasons to leave you alone and not have anything to do with you. I read the list frequently trying to convince myself to be strong by reasons listed. Every time I told you this was the end of our friendship, I was miserable. I cried, I felt sad and did not want our friendship/relationship to end. After talking with you this morning, I realized that Love is not rational and does not follow rules. My day was great. Talking to you just made my day. On the way home, I started thinking about the rules and expectations of our society concerning extramarital relationships and when I got home, I started to write about Love.

This is for you, please take your time and read it.

You should not commit adultery

My name is not on his marriage certificate

I am not married to him

I do not have a life with him

He did not make any commitment to me

He is legally bound to someone else

He is a man married to someone else

He’s going outside the boundaries of his marriage to find something that he should be getting from his wife

I am facilitating him in being dishonest and deceitful

I am wasting my time

I am closing myself off and not being free and open to allow an available man to come into my life

It is wrong to become a third party in a marriage because there is no blank on the marriage certificate to fill in a third name

It is not respectable and acceptable to do this in our society

It is not good to be a party to a relationship that is carried on in secret and on the basis of dishonesty

I find no peace and rest in this situation

My thoughts about the outcome of this situation are wrong

And my heart says,
”I’m illiterate” I can’t read”
“I’m irrational”
“I can’t reason”
“I can only feel the power of Love”, the awesome power of Love”
I only feel the healing power of Love
I only know that my beloved is constantly making me beat irrationally
I’m a heart and I can’t think or reason,
I’m a heart, not a brain,
I’m warm. Blood flows through me, warming the body,
Causing warmth, flushing, blushing, rapid heartbeat and a desire that words can’t explain.
I feel better when I sense the awesome power of Love.
Laws, rules, doctrines, regulations…I am immune to these,
They don’t phase me.
I’m a heart, filled with Love, made to Love.
A heart doesn’t think,
It only Loves
God is Love

Be free from worldly illusions, and you Shall find the true nature of existence.
wise men before my 'foolishness', have transported their Souls into me. I understand what is meant by Reincarnation.
But i am jewish, So, how can i Believe and Read 'Buddhism, without Beliefs'? without Betraying Religion and Society?!?!?!


there are known knowns, known unknowns, unknown knowns, and unknown unknowns. and then there are those who u feel (believe, know (what is objective truth) etc) the truth about it all.

"shine the light".

Does it really matter who signs this?

wisdom and compassion, my masters

p.s. as a psychcology student i must warn u that the theory of causality leads to paranoia! so, take a break when u feel like u are connecting too many dots :)

peace, love, and chicken grease

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think like a fool? well I think that that would not be that difficult for me because my friends always tell me I do think like a fool, do you have something about how to think smart?

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I never thought like these, but from now I will try it, and see how it goes.


I think it is now called 'thinking outside the box' nowadays. Let's face it, if you follow the crowd you tend to get the same results as everyone else, mostly average. In business if you go against conventional wisdom you can fall flat on your face or succeed wildly.

If no one ever tried doing things from a different perspective nothing would ever change so thank God for 'fools' I say. They are always laughed at in the beginning but generally have the last laugh.

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