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Creative Thinking

This guide is dedicated to how one might be a more creative thinker and innovator in any discipline.

Be Bold.

Be Silent.



Here are the stages that Keith Sawyer explains in detail in his books and articles:

1. Ask: Creativity starts with a penetrating research question, startling vision for a new vision for a new work of art, an urgent business challenge, a predicament in your personal life. Trigger words and phrases are If only, Why, Why not, What if, How to, Why do, Why don’t, etc.

2. Learn: In a creative life, you’re constantly learning, practicing, mastering, becoming an expert. Seek knowledge everywhere you can. You may find it in unlikely sources. Assume nothing.

3. Look: Be constantly, quietly, intently aware. Look but also see, not only what you expect but, better yet, what surprises you. Isaac Asimov is right: “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny….'”

4. Play: One of the most important, least appreciated stages of the process. The creative life is filled with play — the kind of unstructured activities that children engage in for the sheer joy of it.

5. Think: The creative life is filled with new ideas. Your mind tirelessly generates possibilities. You don’t clamp down although you realize that most will not pan out — at least not for the given objective. Successful creativity is a numbers game: the more the better. The welcome mat must always be out for new ideas.

6. Fuse: Creating minds are always bouncing ideas together, looking for unexpected combinations. Connecting lots of dots, eliminating some and adding others. Successful creativity never comes from only one idea; rather, from a combination of several.

7. Choose: A creative life is lived in balance, held steady by the constant tension between uncritical, wide-open idea generation (brainstorming, done right and critical examination and editing.

8. Make: In the creative life, it’s not enough to just “have” ideas. You need to make the best ideas into a reality. To paraphrase Thomas Edison, “Ideation without execution is hallucination.”

Courtesy of

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