Today, I want to talk about the process of creative thinking. Long ago I read a book by PR Practitioner Andy Green called Creativity in PR. He highlights the importance of creativity in virtually every project.

Today I share some resources for creative thinking with you.

You see, creative thinking is essential for innovation, whether it be writing, designing, or strategising. Often, people break creative thinking down into five stages of creativity. So let’s explore what the creative process entails and how each stage builds upon the previous one.

It’ll certainly come in handy the next time you embark on your creative journey! Simply click on the tags for a full description of each stage.

Let’s dive in!

Links in this episode:

Andy Green’s book:

Lateral Thinking book:

Thinking hats book:

For more broader understanding of how we think:

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

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Full Transcript (unedited)

The five Is;

Often referred to as inspiration, incubation, insight, implementation, and impact, provide a framework for understanding and navigating the creative journey. By understanding each stage and the role it plays, we can optimise your creative thinking and enhance our ability to generate innovative ideas. Let’s delve into each stage and uncover the significance they hold in the creative process.

First up is the preparation stage.

Here, you need to research, gather knowledge, and resources. This could involve reading about your subject area, studying past masters, or attending events and trade shows. You might also brainstorm initial ideas with colleagues.

Next comes the incubation stage.

This is where you allow all that preparation to simmer in the back of your mind subconsciously while you engage in other activities like exercising, pursuing hobbies, or even doing nothing at all. This mental break allows new ideas to form.

The illumination stage is the third step in which a unique idea strikes.

Often referred to as the “Eureka!” or lightbulb moment, it’s when our minds make new connections and come up with innovative solutions.

Now we move on to the evaluation stage;

This is where your creative idea begins taking shape through development, testing, prototyping, and refinement. You might discuss it with colleagues or friends or even conduct market research.

Finally comes the implementation stage

This is where all the hard work (or fun) happens! Here, those abstract ideas transform into tangible products or solutions through collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

Another method for utilising creative thinking is the 6 thinking hats. These hats represent different perspectives and approaches to problem-solving. This is often used as a team exercise, but you can do this on your own too.

One hat is the “White Hat,” where I state facts and information that I already know.

Another hat is the “Yellow Hat,” which allows me to look at the bright side and be optimistic, adding value and benefits to my ideas.

Expressing my feelings and emotions is represented by the “Red Hat.”

The “Blue Hat” helps me manage and control the overall process, looking at the bigger picture.

When I wear the “Green Hat,” I explore alternatives, generating new ideas and solutions.

Lastly, I have the “Black Hat” when I need to be realistic and practical, being cautious about potential dangers and difficulties. This hat is usually called the ‘devil’s voice.’ By combining these hats, I can think clearly and objectively.

For example, I can start with the “Blue Hat” by asking myself questions about our goals and the subject addressed. Then, I can express my feelings with the “Red Hat” and consider who might be affected by the problem. Next, I can employ the “Yellow Hat” and later the “Green Hat” to invent new concepts and solutions. Finally, I can switch between the “White Hat” and the “Black Hat” to validate my solution using existing knowledge and facts. By training my mind to switch between these hats, I can efficiently and effectively solve problems, while also reaping the benefits of creative thinking.


Lateral Thinking is a phrase invented by Edward de Bono that means thinking about a problem in a different way than what is usually used.


Lateral Thinking consists of 5 important steps. First and foremost, it’s essential to change our thinking focus, allowing our minds to explore new options and ideas. It’s important not to be afraid of trying something new.


Secondly, we need to break free from the confines of traditional logical thinking and embrace a messy approach, paying attention to every small detail.


Thirdly, we should develop new ideas and adapt them to fit the situation at hand. It’s not enough to simply generate ideas; we must implement them according to our needs in order to succeed.


Fourthly, utilizing diverse and unrelated data can help us come up with fresh concepts. We can break down data, group them together, or even consider data that we never imagined would work. By experimenting without judgment, we may stumble upon unexpected solutions.


Finally, it is crucial to look beyond obvious alternatives and think outside the box, as hidden opportunities often await.


In conclusion, understanding how to think creatively and having some tools you cna use can aid the creative process and immensely benefit anyone beginning a creative project.


These methods are used by many as a way to spark inspiration, this process can certainly help you unlock your own creativity.