Roger von Oech

Creative Think

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Luc Debaisieux

I like this twist, Roger. Right now... I'm having fun (cough!), so I assume that time must be flying. Right? Also... I never know what I'm gonna get and so I see life like a box of chocolates. Your creativity stimulates fun ideas! !sknahT ( :

Maria Helm

1) "Look before you leap."
>> Don't look, just leap.
If you look before you bungee jump or sky dive, you might change your mind. If you spend too much time looking at a business plan/marriage proposal/other big decision you are bound to find a reason not to go through with it. If your gut says 'go', then don't look before you leap, or you might never leap....and you might really lose out on the most wild and wonderful ride of your life.

2) "As you make your bed, so you must sleep in it."
>> Make your bed, but you can change it as you go. If you get hot, you can take off the covers. If the sheets are scratchy, you can change them. Nothing is set in stone. It's good to have a tidy plan, but it is also good to be flexible, knowing that you might not have forseen EVERYTHING in your plan.

Jorge Castillo

Looking before you leap is a very dangerous thing to do. If you see danger ahead you could jump into an even more dangerous place instead. Companies that see dangers ahead may choose to do nothing and die: that's real danger. Acrobats who look before leap may hesitate and turn something automatic into something letal.

Making your bed is a really irrational thing to do. If you are sleeping it doesn´t make sense somebody wakes you up to make your bed. If you are awake, why do you make something that you won't be using. Companies that "make their beds" are loosing the opportunity of "sleeping" the continous improvement dream.

Cam Beck

Don't look before you leap. If you do the right thing, there is no reason to even leap. Just confidently step off with the right foot, knowing that your legacy is decided not by what you accomplish as much as the character you develop when accomplishing it the right way.

Making the bed after each time you sleep in it creates an environment that invites bed bugs. Leave the bed alone! You're going to sleep in it again tonight.

Stephen Denny

Mr. Morita was a big proponent of "shoot, aim, ready" instead of looking prior to leaping.

Re "bed," I see the point of this proverb being "you reap what you sow" -- the "negation" of which is that you end up reaping something other than what you thought you were sowing. The seeds of our intentions have varied DNA -- they may sprout into entirely new species when cultivated with new ideas, experiences, circumstances and environments, all of which are quickly changing.

Randy Bosch

"Leap before you look."
This is not a dangerous and callous action in many circumstances. For example, an artist waiting for that WOW sunset to get a bit better may loose the moment if they don't "leap" and photograph or sketch "in a heartbeat" - and be ready to repeat if the experience changes for the positive. The concept of "fail fast" and keep trying is also a form of leap before you look, again requiring informed, prepared, controlled, conscious intent and action.

"As you sleep in your bed, so you must make it."
Taken literally, this makes sense since "repairing the damage" in the morning is made more or less of a chore by the night's activity. As a metaphor, this also is a precusor activity. Think ahead to how you work, act, play,, and prepare your office, set, environment to encourage and support the best "sleep" possible.

Roger von Oech

Luc, Maria, Jorge, Cam, Stephen, and Randy: All great suggestions showing that the opposite POV of these proverbs makes about as much sense. Thanks for contributing!

Tom Haskins

When I leap before I look, I see things from a higher perspective. My critics say I'm not grounded and I say I'm seeing more possibilities, freedom above the constraints and ways to play with the definition of the problem.

I must sleep in my bed to make it an experience of comfort, a respite from my waking activities and a time for incubation. If I don't sleep in it, it does not get made.

Greg Krauska

Look before you leap ---> Look AFTER you leap.

To innovate, we need to make mistakes fast - and learn from them. So as you map out your innovation process, be sure to include a step that helps you objectively look at what really happened - and learn from it. Anyone who has reviewed an audio or video recording of an intense discussion will be surprised to discover what the recording reveals about what they missed.

So yeah, take the leap. Just get an objective view of what happened when you did. Your own excitement might have you miss some really valuable insights.

isabella mori

you can make your bed but no-one says you have to sleep in it. sleep on the settee, in the hammock, or don't sleep at all and pull an all-nighter writing poetry! then you can go look at your bed, see how beautifully it is made, and how cute your cat looks lying right in the middle of it and turn around, call your lover and get him/her to take you to a five-star hotel with a four-poster bed.

as for the leaping and looking: makes me think of a german proverb i got to know 500 years ago when i was a horse-crazy preteen: when you first learn to jump they say, "take your heart, throw it over the hurdle, and jump after it!"

Roger von Oech

Tom: Poetically cosmic, per usual.

Greg: "To innovate, we need to make mistakes fast" -- good point.

Isabella: "when you first learn to jump they say, 'take your heart, throw it over the hurdle, and jump after it!'" What a wonderful contribution.

John Evans

To each proverb its anti-proverb:

"Look before you leap" <-> "He who hesitates is lost"

"As you make your bed, so you must sleep in it" <-> um, ... "If at first, you don't succeed, try, try again"?

Charles Meyrick

I am both new to this site and late to this topic. If I might be so bold as to suggest a similar exercise: a great deal of insight can be gained by reversing received opinion on cause and effect. (The economist Thomas Sowell is a Grand Master at this game.) Does poverty cause crime? Or does crime cause poverty? Or does the system run in both directions?

It is important to understand what is cause and what is effect, so that measures can be taken to treat the illness and not the symptoms. I recently heard about a Bot Scout who ate some undercooked hamburger, and was treated with medicine to *prevent* diarrhea; which kept the e-coli bacteria in his system longer, making him more ill.

Even if we don't reach a conclusion as to what is cause and what is effect, we gain a degree of humility in acknowledging that we don't know. (Like the cab driver in The Black Swan.) And we will ne less zealous, not to say fanatic, in applying our favored solutions, and more open to hearing different approaches to solving a problem.

A perhaps foolish example: does a rise in "greenhouse gasses" cause global warming? Or does global warming cause a rise in those gasses? Or are the two phenomena part of a much larger, more complex, system?


It's nice to get the informations from you.


It's nice to get the informations from you.


"Look before you leap" simply means that you must
think before you act. Before you do something you must consider the
consequences of your actions means that you must think before you act.
Before you do something you must consider the consequences of your
If we think before we act we can see things from a higher perspective.

Five Star Hotels in Manila

Try disagreeing with people whose ideas, principles, and beliefs you usually agree.

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