Expect the Unexpected (Or You Won't Find It)
A Creativity Tool Based on the Ancient Wisdom of H
"You can't step in the same river twice."
"Dogs bark at what they don't understand."
"The doctor inflicts pain to cure suffering."
The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus was famous for his brilliant and provocative sayings. Today, more than 2,500 years after they were written, his ideas about life, nature, and the cosmos remain as startlingly original as ever.
In Expect the Unexpected (Or You Won't Find It), Roger von Oech uses thirty of Heraclitus' epigrams as springboards to dazzling creativity. Treating each saying as an inexhaustible source of inspiration, he supplies amusing anecdotes, mind-bending riddles, hidden jokes, and intriguing questions designed to topple old habits of thought and fire the imagination. Drawing on a cornucopia of examples from science, business, and the history of invention, as well as from literature (Through the Looking Glass) and popular culture (The Twilight Zone), von Oech shows you how to reverse your expectations, turn change to your advantage, create powerful metaphors, and avoid the pitfalls of "moreness" -- that is, assuming that more is automatically better -- to find novel solutions to even the most intractable problems.
Anyone searching for new approaches to problem solving -- from managers to students to artists -- will find in this book an invaluable tool. Whether you read it from start to finish as a creativity workbook, treat each insight as a morning meditation, or consult the book as a daily oracle, Expect the Unexpected offers a welcome jolt to the imagination.
- Free Press, September 2001
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