In a year 1940, James Webb Young, a client manager of the marketing agency, published a short guide called “A Technique for Producing Ideas”. In his book, he represented the easy but effective way to form breakthrough ideas.
According to Young, innovative ideas appear when one creates new combinations from ones already known. In other words, creative thinking means transforming ideas that you already have into something unique and innovative.
The ability to generate new combinations depends on your ability to see connections between various pieces of data.
Young is convinced that creative process consists of five steps, and he gives next recommendations.
1. Gather New Info
On this stage, you have to concentrate on studying a certain amount of material, connected to your task, and on studying the overall information while staying open to anything new.
2. Process the Gathered Info Carefully
You need to analyze what you’ve got by looking at the information from various viewpoints and to try assembling different ideas.
3. Step Away from the Problem
Now you need to throw problems out of your head and to get busy with things that inspire you and fill you with energy.
4. Let the Idea Appear
After you stop blowing your mind to solve the problem, the idea is to appear suddenly, like an inspirational flash.
5. Shape the Idea, Basing on a Feedback from Other People
For the idea to bring you success, you need to present it to the world. Be ready for criticism and listen to it if it is constructive.
How It Works
A creative process of Frederic Eugene Ives is the great example of this five-step system in action.
First, Ives collected new info. He had been a student in a typographic facility during two years, and then ruled a photographic studio for four years more. This all allowed him to get the needed experience.
Second, he started thinking over everything he studied. Ives spent very much time on experimenting with new photo printing techniques. He created different combinations from various ideas and methods he already knew on purpose.
Third, Ives stepped away from a problem-solving process. He just went to bed, though he was worried by lots of thoughts and doubts. It does not matter for how much time you decide to stay away of the process. The point is to be busy with something that really can get you out of it.
Fourth, he got a genuine idea. Ives woke up knowing the solution already.
And he worked hardly to improve that idea during several years. He fixed so much that it was necessary to patent one more way of printing. It is easy to get stuck on a premier version of your idea, but any breakthrough thought needs development and completion.
Being creative does not mean being the first or the only one getting a good idea. Creativeness is the ability to build connections between existing ideas and to get innovations as a result.