5-Step Process For Producing Ideas
A process for generating ideas? Ideas are a creative business not a mechanical one, do you say? In a world, where everything is process-driven how can creativity be an exception? In fact, scientists are trying to understand the principles (or process?) of even chaos to control it. We are digressing. Let’s stick to creative Process.
James Webb Young, the legendary advertising man wrote a great book – A Technique for Producing Ideas in 1960, which is a classic even today. He described the five steps in detail. Here is the essence:
Mind follows a method which is just as definite as a production process or even an assembly line. There is a technique for using the mind for producing ideas. Whenever an idea is produced, this technique is followed consciously or unconsciously. And the good news is that this technique of producing ideas can be consciously cultivated, thereby increasing the ability of the mind to produce ideas.
This technique of mind follows five steps. While you can recognize them individually, it is important to recognize their inter-relationships more than anything else. One more thing. The mind follows these five steps in definite order or sequence that is not interchangeable.
- Gather the raw material systematically for the product or service for which you are seeking to develop a great new idea. Gather as much as you can both the raw materials – raw material that is specific to your product and to the people to whom you want to sell your product.
- Masticate the material gathered and start the mental digestive process. Masticate the material till gastric (creative) juices are secreted. You have to digest before ingest.
- Now drop the whole subject and put the whole problem as completely as you can. Turn it over to your sub-conscious mind and let it work on it. Ideas come after you have stopped straining for them, and have passed through a relaxation from the search.
- When you are totally pre-occupied with it, out of no where the idea appears. This is your eureka moment! It will come to you when you are least expecting it – while shaving, or bathing or most often when you are half-awake. It may even wake you up in the middle of it. Remember what Sir Isaac Newton said when he was asked how he discovered the law of gravitation. He said by constantly thinking about it!
- Having produced one, don’t hold your idea close to your chest. Submit it to the criticism of the judicious. Because an idea has self-expanding qualities. It stimulates those who see it to add to it.
What are you waiting for? Go and start producing those great, unique ideas you have been wanting to!