Becoming more creative - the Ball of Whacks
I was pleased recently when Roger contacted me through another innovator - Joyce Wycoff - and told me that he had a new creativity tool - the Ball of Whacks. He asked if I'd be interested to try one out. Well, when you get that type of opportunity you say yes as quickly as possible.
I received the Ball of Whacks - not really sure what to expect. The Ball of Whacks is a geometric thing of beauty - a 30 sided object made up of rhombic pyramids. There's a lot more about the Ball of Whacks that might interest you if you are a geometry and shape person, because Roger created the pyramids as "golden" pyramids, following the golden ratio.
But most of that really doesn't matter, because the Ball of Whacks is really a manipulative tool. Studies show that when we are thinking, our brains light up in different ways when we are still and when we are working with our hands. In our work in ideation and brainstorming, we almost always provide some type of manipulative - playdough, Slinky's, intricate folding objects - because people want to "fiddle" with something. In a creativity or ideation setting, working with your hands seems to make people think differently. Roger's taken that concept to a new level with the Ball of Whacks.
Since it is magnetic, you can take the Ball of Whacks apart into its component pyramids and reorganize the pyramids into a lot of different shapes. These new shapes can be representational or just something to work on to reorder and rethink. The ball is compact enough and rigid enough to toss like a ball, which is another type of manipulative we often use.
Also included with the Ball of Whacks is a booklet with suggestions on how to use the ball as an enhancer to your creative thinking, and a set of creative exercises that are worth the cost of the Ball of Whacks by itself for a firm trying to think creatively.
I can barely keep the Ball of Whacks on my desk. Everyone who sees it picks it up and wants to interact with it - that in itself tells you it is a compelling object and will be a great asset to brainstorming, ideation and creativity.
Check out the Ball of Whacks, and if you aren't familiar with Roger's other books and materials, run, don't walk, to the bookstore or his website to learn more about one of the real godfathers of creative thinking.