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Creativity Process Demystified

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By Patrick Chan

No matter what you have been hearing what others have been telling you, the creatvity process is not a process so complex, that common folks like you and I cannot understand it.

Neither is the creative process a highly mysterious one which is practiced only by those who are blessed with natural creative talents. You can understand and even experience, perhaps for the first time, the practical steps of creativity that great thinkers use to come up with great ideas.

Simply put, the whole creative thinking process can be distilled down to five stages or phases of creativity.Phase 1: Problem Identification/Definition

The primary impetus of creativity is the realization of a problem.

That there’s a problem at hand and you need a creative solution to it. This stage of the creative problem solving process is called the Problem Identification or Definition phase. It’s when you size up the problem before and attempt to define it by establishing its parameters.

Here you immerse yourself in the problem, searching out any information that might be relevant. You let your imagination roam free, open yourself to anything that is even vaguely relevant to the problem.

The idea is to gather a broad range of data so that unusual and unlikely elements can begin to juxtapose themselves. Being receptive, being able to listen openly and well, is a crucial skill here.Phase 2: Idea Generation

Here, you generate a large number of ideas.

This stage of the creative thinking process should be freeing and characterized by inspiration, spontaneity, experimentation, intuition and without fear.

It is at this stage that you want to be careful about not judging the validity or feasibility of your ideas. Let your ideas flow and suspend judgment or self-censorship for the moment.

Great thinkers have discovered that they can only achieve their full creative potential by learning how to separate idea generation from idea evaluation. They know how to generate as many ideas as possible way before analyzing them.Phase 3: Incubation

This is the “sleeping on the problem” stage.

Once you have mulled over all the relevant information, you leave the problem to simmer. At this Incubation stage, you chew on all the data you have collated and wait almost passively.

You will have to trust your subconscious mind to do all the work. You literally let your mind “sleep on the problem.”Phase 4: Illumination

This is probably the most exciting phase.

It’s that part of the creativity process that seemingly makes all the effort and work worthwhile.

In this Illumination phase, you’ll experience the sudden bubbling up of the answer. The creative solution or solutions seem to come to you out of the blue.

The Illumination stage is generally described as the “Eureka!” moment.Phase 5: Verification

This is the final stage of the dynamic creativity process.
Called the Verification stage, here you look back over the other phases and evaluate your progress.

 


About the Author
Patrick Chan is a creativity trainer, a bestselling author, and a full-time puzzler. His unorthodox creative thinking techniques, icebreakers, and learning systems have since intrigued hundreds of audience including teachers and educators alike who attended his presentations and seminars. He continues to mesmerize hundreds of people from all over the world every day by his amazingly mind-boggling brain teasers and visual icebreakers via his web site at http://www.wordjuxtapoz.com.

 

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