This technique is fully described in the book The Art of Creative Thinking by Robert W. Olson and published by Perennial Library (ISBN 0-06-097051-0) 1980.

The name is based on the following abbreviation:





The pattern of the DO IT process emphasises the need to Define problems, Open yourself to many possible solutions, Identify the best solution and then Transform it into action effectively.

The ten DO IT catalysts, designed to help us creatively define, open, identify and transform, are...

The DO IT Process and Catalysts

The DO IT catalysts may be used effectively separately for quick problem solving, or together as a process when very importatn or difficult problems are to be solved. They are designed to accelerate and strengthen your natural creative problem-solving ability and to stimulate a large number of good, diverse ideas for solutions to your problems.

Write down a statement of the problem!

Define the problem carefully to make sure you are solving the real problem and to help engage your unconscius and conscious minds to the problem.
Mind Focus 1) Ask why the problem exists. This may lead to a broader statement of the problem.
2) Try to subdivide the problem into smaller problems. This may lead to a narrower restatement of the problem.
Mind Grip Write down at least three two-word statements of the problem objective. Select the combination of words which best represents the precise problem you want to solve. Use this to write a new, more optimal and effective restatement of the problem.
Mind Stretch List the goals, objectives and/or criteria which the solution of the problem is to satisfy. (Think of the obstacles which must be overcome.) Then stretch each goal, objective or criterion and write down any ideas which are stimulated.

Write down the most optimal statement of the problem

Open yourself to consider many diverse solution ideas. Delay judgment on ideas generated until the Identify step. First, list any ideas which are on your mind. Then....
Mind Prompt Ask other people with diverse backgrounds, knowledge and intelligence for solutions to your problem. Use their solutions as prompters for your own ideas.
Mind Surprise List ridiculous, laughable ideas. Use them to trigger more reasonably, possible usable solutions to your problem.
Mind Free Stimulate fresh ideas by forcing similarities between your problem and things wich aren't logically related to your problem.
1 - Write down the name of a physical object, picture, plant or animal.
2 - List its characteristics in detail
3 - Use the listed characteristics to stimulate insights into and ideas for the solution to your problem.
Mind Synthesise

Circle the best of ideas generated so far during the Define and Open steps

Identify the best solution to your problem and modify it until you are ready to transform your idea into action.
Mind Integrate Review your goals, objectives and/or criteria then trust your own gut-level feeling to select the best idea from the already circled ideas.
Mind Strengthen List the negative aspects of your idea. Be vicious! Try to positive the negatives. Then modify the solution to reduce the negative aspects.
Mind Energise Exaggerate the worst and best potential consequence which might result from the implementation of your solution. Modify your solution to minimise bad consequences and maximise good consequencxes. Proceed to the transformation step if you are sufficiently energised.

Carefully write down a statement of your final solution idea

Transform your solution idea into action. Use the DO IT process and catalysts again to help creatively solve the problem which you now have of "How to transform your solution idea into action."

Important Note: When time allows, take advantage of incubation (unconscious thinking) and research processes (find out what ideas have already been tried).

Most of our everyday personal and professional problems are solved in a few minutes or instantly. Therefore you will probably find it advantageous to use only one or a few of the catalysts at a time.

Last updated: 18th October 1996

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