The creative process that the brain goes though has been split into 7 stages by psychologists. The stages apply for any creative endeavor whether it’s sculpture, scientific discovery, generating new ideas or problem solving.
The stages are:
1. Intuition – holistically defining the problem
2. Saturation – research, fact finding and gaining skills
3. Incubation – sleeping on it
4. Inspiration – the subconscious forces an idea to the conscious mind
5. Evaluation – testing and measuring
6. Elaboration – modifying and improving the idea
7. Implementation – taking action
Even though our minds have to work through all these stages, there are ones that we prefer. This is what I’m calling our Creative Dynamic. If we understand where we like to sit in the creative process it will give us clues as to what could be holding us back (we’re stuck in our favoured stage) as well has showing us where we, and others fit when compiling creative teams.
Have a read through the profiles and see which best describes you and your attitude to creativity.
These are the people who have a sense, a feel that something is wrong or that something needs to change. Subconsciously they are able to see the big picture, but may not be able to express it straight away. They usually have no data, or interest in finding data to back up their gut feeling. They are able to spot patterns, but not interpret them.
Pro: they have spotted something, which will be real, that few others can see
Con: on their own they may not be able to express the idea or move in any direction to solve or implement it
Where are they? Many women will be natural intuitives. But don’t overlook men who may be less process driven. Intuitive may be sociable, good connectors, emotive and emotional. Sometimes they’ll follow their whims so are attracted to entrepreneurship and leadership.
These are people who love having all the facts. They collect data and do detailed research. They are keen to learn new skills and methods, but may never apply them. They rarely notice patterns.
Pro: they will find the information and detail that others will fall short of finding
Con: they will never have enough data and rarely stop to do something productive with it.
Where are they? You’ll find them where there are systems and regulations. They have collections on databases or shelves. They may be jack of all trades but be masters of facts and figures. They make the wrong type of leaders as they value data higher than people.
These are the people who are capable of subconsciously processing patterns to create new patterns to find answers. When they do, the Incubator becomes and Inspirator.
Pro: they interpret data to find new ideas, new answers and make connections few other would make.
Con: they need the right conditions to work and sometimes are too slow to deliver.
Where are they? Often labeled ‘creatives’, they may look and act different as they try to separate themselves from regulation or routine that they know hiders their incubation skills. They are too distant to be leaders in the Western sense (but ideally suited in the Eastern sense).
These are the analysts who examine what others have come up with to test and measure to see if the new ideas can be used.
Pro: they test to destruction. They are firmly routed in reality and will easily cut off unnecessary fluff and throw our impractical ideas
Con: they cannot invent or create on their own. They can only make judgements on other peoples ideas.
Where are they? They find themselves at home analysing data so naturally you’ll find them in accounts and quality departments.
These are an interesting bunch of creators who instead of generating new ideas, work best when adapting existing ones. They are in many ways a combination of types 1 to 5.
Pro: best suited to innovation. Let them loose on a system and they will improve it.
Con: sometimes a new idea is needed and changing around what you’ve already got isn’t good enough. They can’t make the quantum leap needed for something totally new and different.
Where are they? They make good pro-active leaders, quick to adapt and adopt. Good in the field so may be great sales or marketing people. They shouldn’t have too much overall authority as they will fiddle and change too many parts that may cause confusion.
These are the practical engineers who will act upon and put into practice the new ideas and actions.
Pro: They can be trusted to put a plan into action without messing it up.
Con: they need instruction and work to do. They do not innovate on their own, but stick to the rules and carry out orders.
Where are they? On the ground. The dependable, reliable troops. At the coal face, on the factory floor, getting the job done. Shouldn’t be in a leadership role as they will never give up getting their hands dirty and don’t really care about the bigger picture in any great way.
So where did you feel most comfortable? Who else’s profile did you recognise? Do you allow yourself and people around you to play to their strengths? If you do, you’ll find a much greater level of creative mind-flow leading to bigger and better ideas and increased productivity.
Book Ayd to speak about Creativity and Innovation Mind-flow at your event.
For more interesting info see: