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
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
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 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
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”
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:
This is probably the most exciting phase.
It’s that part of the creativity process
that seemingly makes all the effort and work
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:
This is the final stage of the dynamic creativity
Called the Verification stage, here you look
back over the other phases and evaluate your
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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