Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Whack on the Side of the Head

I promised no alliterations, but I am not ready to abandon Wacky Wednesday completely. When I was typing last week's entry, I was reminded of a deck of cards I own (Creative Whack Pack, by Rogervon Oech - sold at any book store) that I use when conducting training on topics related to creativity. Each card tells a short story and then leaves you with a mental challenge - mental gymnastics of sorts. I thought this could be an interesting activity for us to engage in together. After all, if this blog is to be about creativity then a nice byproduct of checking in with me each day is that it will get your own creative juices flowing and find yourself applying some of what you read to your own world.

Think of this as improv. Each Wednesday I will share with you the contents of one card, coupled with a problem I am facing. We will put the two thoughts together and see if we can't come up - in real time - with a creative solution. Then, using the same creative principle and your own problem, you'll try!

Here we go...

Dig Deeper: Emile' Chartier: "Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it's the only one you have." Don't stop with the first right answer you find. Dig deeper and look for others. how do you keep a fish from smelling? Cook it as soon as you catch it. Keep a cat around. Burn incense. Cut its nose off. Remember: the best way to get a good idea is to get lots of ideas. What good ideas are below the surface? What's the second right answer?

Now my problem. My 3 year old son is easily distracted at dinner, making eating his meal a long and frustrating process - especially for me and his dad. Up to this point, the solution has been to continue reminding him that he is supposed to be eating and that he should stay on task. Instead of asking how you keep a fish from smelling, let me ask.. How do you keep a three-year old from getting distracted during dinner?

  • Remove all distractions such as siblings, parents, centerpieces, etc...
  • Allocate a designated amount of time for eating his meal before it is removed from the table.

  • Let his 15 year old brother eat whatever is left after a designated amount of time.

  • Serve everyone, except him, a meal until he asks for it.

  • Come to the table as a family 10 minutes before the meal is served, so that stories can be shared before the food arrives (ooohhh, I like that one).

  • Fill his plate with a bite or two, instead of everything upfront. By reversing the expectation from finish what's on your plate to asking for additional bites, he might become more interested (scarcity mentality).

  • Each portion of his dinner could earn him part of his evening routine (dinner = dessert; milk = book; salad = Mango Key bedtime story).
You get the idea. Now your turn. For which of your problems are you seeking a solution? What good ideas are below the surface? What's the second right answer? Don't skim over this... really take a second and try or -a second right answer - try on your commute home tonight.

Signing off until tomorrow...

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