By Alan Graner
Roger von Oech (A Kick in the Seat of the Pants: Using Your Explorer, Artist, Judge, & Warrior to Be More Creative,1986) studied the creative process and found it consisted of adopting four main roles, each requiring a different way of thinking.
Since there’s no one right way to be creative, you might shift back and forth between roles depending on your needs.
It’s also important to know when to use these roles—timing is paramount. You should pay attention to the type of thinking required for each situation and then shift into it.
Creative thinkers need raw materials to fashion new ideas: facts, concepts, experiences, knowledge, feelings or whatever else you can find.
If you look for them in the same old places you’ll find the same old things. The best way to find something original is to venture off the beaten path. Or find a new one.
Ordinary ideas follow common patterns. To find something new you have to give your ideas a twist or two.
As an artist you experiment with a variety of approaches. You follow you intuition. Rearrange things. Ask what-if questions. Look for hidden meanings. And, when necessary, you break the rules…or create your own.
You weigh the evidence and evaluate. What are the drawbacks? Is the timing right? Why did it succeed or fail?
You run risk analyses. You question your assumptions. You listen to your gut. And then you make a decision.
You go on the offensive.
You develop your strategy and commit yourself to reach your objective. As you implement your idea you overcome every obstacle: excuses, idea killers, temporary setbacks. You persevere.
How do you come up with creative ideas?
Image: Nevit via Wikimedia Commons
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County, CA business marketing content and distribution firm. For content that makes you stick out from the crowd, email Jeffrey Swartz at email@example.com. Or visit www.dsprel.com.