Roger von Oech

Creative Think

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Tom Haskins

When I'm in the dark of forgetfulness, the stars come out to see things in a new light. If I am in my beginner's mind, I see the latest problem without my familiar preconceptions. When I am full of wonder, the conclusions I usually jump to seem irrelevant to me. If I don't know what to make the issue that beguiles me, "what to know about it" comes to mind as inspirations.

Forgetting works for me anytime I know too much and fixate on being right too soon.

Jorge Castillo

From this Heraclitus' idea I "translate" this creative strategy: Ignorance is a good adviser.

That's why little boys and girls can ask questions that make us think out of the logic (the Polaroid photo system born from a boy's question: Why can't I see my picture right now?). People that doesn't have any expertise in a field can provide really creative ideas just because of their "ignorance".

Knowing could mean mastery, ... but also limitation.

Roger von Oech

Tom: "the stars come out to see things in a new light. If I am in my beginner's mind . . . " This reminds me of another bit of Heraclitean wisdom:

"When there is no sun, we can see the stars."

Jorge: "Knowing could mean mastery, ... but also limitation." I like the way you put that.


Just had a great idea via "forgettery" - but, um, I forgot it. (Sorry, decided someone had to do it).


This is a wonderful idea.

One of the things that is always most difficult to overcome in business is "tribal custom". "Tribal custom" is encountered when you ask someone why they do something, and they respond "because that is how we have always done it." If only they would forget sometime, and do it a different way, business processes might improve. When I encounter this I ask if maybe we could just not do it that way for a while and see if anyone notices. Frequently steps and whole processes can be eliminated simply by forgetting to do them.

Curt Nelson

That's Brilliant, practice forgetting. In other words be open to new ways of thinking. Don't let what you currently think you know cloud your current judgement which could affect you learning something new. Which you could of learned of you practiced forgetting.

Thanks for this short yet powerful post.

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