Stages in Creative Process
Creativity is a very complex process. People believe that it is unexplainable and comes out of the clear blue sky for no apparent reasons. But this is not a good and valid explanation, and behavioural scientists believe that through specific process, creativity emerge. There are certain identifiable stages in creative process.
While it may be true that some new ideas may come just by the way but it is certain that most important way to get right ideas is to work on a baffling problem, and work hard. For a manager, it is essential that he is thoroughly conversant with the problem on hand. For him, saturation stage normally begins in thorough familiarity with a problem itself, its history, its importance, its relationship to other parts of the business, and its setting. This will provide the manager an insight in identifying the real problem and he can think for suitable solution. If the manager is clearly aware about the real problem, he is likely to think in direction which may be very relevant for problem solution.
Knowledge alone, no matter how complete it is, does not generate creative ideas. The decision maker has to go through preparation stage at which he tries to collect information relating to the problem. he m ay recall his past experience and also study new materials. It should be recognized that something new does not come instantaneously or overnight. The preparation stage may last few minutes, hours, days or weeks, even years. At this stage, information must be mulled until what we might call mental digestion takes place. During this period, the person commonly suffers from anxiety and frustration specially if the preparation stage lasts for very long. At the preparation stage, creative thinker may deliberate about the problems with others. deliberation usually includes three steps:
ii. Building relationship and patterns
iii. Seeking useful rearrangement or combinations.
If no solution or problem is found out at the stage of preparation, the creative person attempts to shelves the problem and to forget about it. He may engage himself in activities totally unconnected with the problem, he may listen to music, go for other entertainment, and so on. However, he may shelve the problem consciously but it exists in the subconscious mind. The difference between conscious and subconscious mind is that the former is the center of logical thinking and people are aware about it while the latter is unknown but engages continuously in generation of ideas for the solution of problem even though people may not be aware about it. During the process of incubation, the mind will work subconsciously to create certain new ideas. This is so because a new idea is created in the subconscious mind after certain amount of sorting and manipulating of the multitude of information stored there.
The illumination stage of creativity is characterized by a flash of insight or a sudden spontaneous solution. If the previous stages of creativity have been accomplished properly, the new data will be brought to mind. Many other ideas will follow in quick order, faster than what one’s memory can absorb or retain them. Many flashes of ideas are lost, others rejected, while some are retained for further analysis. Sometimes, many ideas may come when one is not really thinking about the problem consciously. There are many cases where many great ideas have come in the minds of certain thinkers when they have not been engaged in thinking process consciously.
This is the final stage of creative process and involves verifying, modifying, or applying the ideas towards the solution of the problem under study. During this stage, mind sets about, by logical method or by experimentation, to prove or disprove the solution that has been suggested. Usually, a check with cold reality reveals the need for adapting and refining the first conception of an idea. This is actually a very critical phase in creative process because new ideas are worthless until they come into full form and are available for consideration by those who can use them.