Creativity as a process has several stages. These are:
Getting the mind ready for creative thinking using methods such as
- realizing that every situation is an opportunity to learn
- reading on a variety of topics/subjects
- creating a file of interesting articles
- developing the ability to listen to and learn from others
- Attending professional/ trade association meetings, both to brainstorm with others having a similar interest and to learn how others have solved a particular problem.
Studying the problem and understanding its components
Identifying the similarities and differences in the information collected.
The subconscious needs time to reflect on the information collected. Incubation can be enhanced by
- Doing something totally unrelated to the problem/opportunity under investigation
- Taking time to reflect (freeing the mind from self imposed restrictions)
- Playing and relaxing
- Thinking about the issue before going to sleep so that the subconscious can work on it during sleep
- Working on the problem or opportunity in a different environment.
This occurs when all the previous stages start getting clear.
Involves testing if the idea will work, is practical to implement and is a better solution to a particular problem or opportunity. Experiments, test marketing and piloting are some of the methods that can be used.
Transforming the idea into reality bringing it to the market. This is what distinguishes the entrepreneur from the inventor.