Four stage model of creativity

Four stage model of creativity

Feb 14, 2023

Four stage model of creativity

Stage I: Preparation

Immersing oneself in the problem. The primary activity here is to precisely define the problem. Once this has been done there is the need to gather a broad range of data and information. During this stage, there can be frustration as there are many possibilities and few insights.

Stage II: Incubation

The information and possibilities collected in Stage I are now allowed to stay in the subconscious mind. The brain can play with this information. It can make new connections and generate new ideas and possibilities.

Stage III: Illumination

This is the stage of a breakthrough. When an idea/solution comes to mind it is very exhilarating. The illumination is combined with excitement and energy.

Stage IV: Execution

A great idea means little if nothing happens after its inception. The important fourth stage is to mobilize resources and to take action. To make things happen may require considerable persistence. At times there may be setbacks and hitches. By combining creative ideas with determination you are far more likely to get results.

To be creative you need to work through these stages. By having precision in the earliest stage you ensure that your brain knows exactly what is required. The incubation element implies a willingness to trust your subconscious/unconscious processes. It is rarely possible to force yourself to be consciously creative. In the latter case you are using only a small part of your brain’s capacity. The willingness to notice the breakthroughs and then act is important for the specific problem you are addressing. 

Reference: Managing yourself 

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