I recently came upon a 5 step process for solving problems. My work centers on this, as well as reminding the CEOs I support that it’s a big part of their job, too — by default many leaders just focusing on operations. So the list peaked my interest. Digging deeper I found it was sourced from a book originally published by James Webb Young in 1939 — A Technique for Producing Ideas. To many in the industry, Young was one of the original Ad Men. Supporting so many in Marketing, Media and Branding, I found this fascinating.
As a caveat with South Korea new global branding as “Creative Korea,” it is only timely to look more closely at creativity, more so, having commented frequently in this Vodcast on the Korean vs. Western creative class. (My PDF on the topics is available upon request).
Let look at James Webb Young’s process.
- Gather new material. At first, you learn. During this stage you focus on 1) learning specific material directly related to your task and 2) learning general material by becoming fascinated with a wide range of concepts.
- Thoroughly work over the materials in your mind. During this stage, you examine what you have learned by looking at the facts from different angles and experimenting with fitting various ideas together.
- Step away from the problem. Next, you put the problem completely out of your mind and go do something else that excites you and energizes you.
- Let your idea return to you. At some point, but only after you have stopped thinking about it, your idea will come back to you with a flash of insight and renewed energy.
- Shape and develop your idea based on feedback. For any idea to succeed, you must release it out into the world, submit it to criticism, and adapt it as needed.
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