The Seven Steps of the Creative Process

Roger von Oech

This is the Creative Process as described by Roger von Oech in his
A Whack, A Kick and a Poke cassette program.

There are seven areas in the creative process made up of a Germinal phase where ideas arise, and a Practical phase where the ideas are evaluated and processed. The creative thinking process is not always linear and may jump around out of the order described below.

7 step diagram

Germinal Phase

  1. Motivation - the desire to be creative generating the energy.
  2. Search - Information Gathering, Looking in other fields for ideas, looking at the big picture, being willing to go astray exploring other areas.
  3. Manipulation - Transforming and manipulating the resources and ideas found, delaying judgment and eliminating some old assumptions.
  4. Incubation - Walking away from the problem after a time of focused attention and turning it over to the subconscious. Letting go will put the problem into perspective, and the planted idea will grow in the subconscious. Delaying action will often improve ideas.
  5. Illumination - The Aha! or Eureka experiences. Ideas can strike at any time, so always carry a means of recording an idea. Recognise your creative time of the day. Don't overwork, and put aside time for Re-Creation.

Practical Phase

  1. Evaluation - making a decision even if the ideas aren't perfect.
  2. Action - Completing the Creative Process can be the most difficult step of all.

The focus of the creativity techniques is on the Germinal Phase and how we can generate and manipulate ideas.

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