Deconstructing Creativity – 5 Steps To Generating Great Ideas At Will

Creativity can be elusive. There may be days and weeks when you're sitting down at your table, and you just cant think of any new ideas. This isn't an uncommon situation, and more often than not, it happens because your understanding of creativity is flawed.

Most people have a very vague, esoteric idea of creativity. You might think it is a gift from the universe that is only granted to a select few who are able to muster it at will. The rest of us mortals have to hope and pray for that moment of inspiration, that spark of creativity.

Here's the truth – you don't need to be a genius or have some sort of unique brain chemistry to be a creative person. You (yes, YOU) can learn how to be creative if you just understand how the process of creativity works.

Let's dive in.

How Anyone Can Learn To Be Creative

Before we dive in to this example, I would invite you to consider for a moment a product, service or piece of art that you would describe as creative. It may be the smartphone, the electric bulb or any other invention of your choice.

Step 1- Accumulating new information.

Here, you're learning new concepts and ideas. You are looking to educate yourself as much as possible about the subject that you're looking to exercise your creativity around.

For example, if you're trying to come up with new ideas for a mobile app, you would first immerse yourself into the study of mobile application development. You will read about the successes and the failures. You'll try to find out what approaches worked, and why. Equally importantly, you will learn about the processes that had a lot in common with the success stories, but didn't quite make it. 

You'll study different schools of thought regarding best practices, do's-and-dont's and other guidelines. 

Step 2 – Understand the information.

At this point, it is important to note that learning is not the same as understanding. For example, you might learn that you shouldn't drive when the signal is red. But until it actually makes a change in your behavior – i.e. you stop your vehicle when you see a red signal light – you haven't really understood the information.

Understanding the information will involve trying to build a framework around the ideas and information you have learned. For example, if you learned a bunch of different programming languages to build your app with, here you will try to put them through different filters and try to find which ones work best. You will take into consideration app performance, network stability and scalability. You will try to fit different ideas that you've learned from distinct app launches together.

Step 3 – Step away.

Your brain is constantly at work, trying to sort the information you've learned into an actionable set of insights. Sometimes, it's better to let it work in the background while you go do something else. If you're constantly considering a particular issue, you might be blinded to the bigger picture or alternate ways of approaching the problem. 

It is this very phenomenon that is at work during the “sleep on it” phrase that is commonly used for problem solving. When you've stepped away from the problem for a while, you can often discover radically new ways to tackle it once you revisit it. If you've been unsuccessfully brainstorming a solution for several hours, take a break. Go to the gym. Take a walk. Play with your dog.

It really helps.

Step 4 – Wait.

This is the hardest part for a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs and creative professionals. If you give it enough time, you will notice that you'll have a new insight about your idea that just pops into your head, seemingly out of nowhere. This is what you've been waiting for. Your brain has now created a set of associations and neural connections that allow you to approach the problem differently.

Like magic.

Step 5 – Take action and use real-world feedback.

A lot of people get stuck because they're trying to get everything perfect on their first try. No matter how creative you are, you will have to listen to your market or your audience. Once you've released your work out into the world, your audience will tell you what they like and don't like.

This is great! Real-world feedback is a great way to gauge the correctness of your assumptions. In addition, you gain a lot of new ideas and suggestions that you weren't thinking about before. No matter how good your team is, you won't be able to go over every possible scenario in your mind. That only comes after your product or service is out there.

Thus, creativity can be loosely defined as the process of creating new connections between old sets of data. By implication, this means that the creative process is the act of understanding relationships between different data sets. Doesn't sound so woo-woo and esoteric any more, does it?

For creative professionals like you, we've created Dubsado. And guess what, we went through the same process we've outlined here. And now, we're confident that we've created the best automation tool for entrepreneurs and small business owners. With Dubsado, you can automate almost all of your repetitive business processes, allowing you to focus that creativity on solving the big problems.