Creativity Isn't Just Throwing Ideas Around


The creative process requires several stages than brainstorming

[Visual Created via Canva by the Author]

A substantial group of people believes that a great idea is all they need to be creative.

Actually, what they believe is the Brainstorming Myth.

David Burkus explains this situation in his book as, “Once a group of people get together and throw out ideas, they can sift through the pile and find that one, fully formed idea that’s ready to display to the world. After that, they’re done. Brainstorming becomes the beginning and the end of their creative process.”

However, idea generation is only one part of the creative process, and creativity is more than idea generation.

As psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi found that almost everyone he studied went through a similar creative process that consisted of five phases:

  1. Preparation
  2. Incubation
  3. Insight
  4. Evaluation
  5. Elaboration

Moreover, Keith Sawyer read almost all of the studies related to creativity and synthesize them all into one cohesive creativity process — which consists of eight distinct stages:

  1. Find and define the problem
  2. Gather relevant knowledge
  3. Gather potentially related information
  4. Take time off for incubation
  5. Generate a large variety of ideas
  6. Combine ideas in unexpected ways
  7. Select the best ideas
  8. Externalize the idea

As a result, creativity is not just throwing ideas around. It’s about selecting the best ideas, combining two pre-existing ideas into a non-existing way, externalizing the thoughts…

Creativity is a process like cooking, painting, or inventing — a process of trying out ideas and experimenting with the alternative, and testing the results against one another.

Creativity and the ability to innovate are like muscles — the more we use them, the stronger they get.

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