The six phases of creativity

In their book, The Path of the Everyday Hero, Dr. Lorna Catford and Dr. Michael Ray, highlight, in order, the six phases of creativity that are often used to make ideas real.

They are:

1. Preparation

This is the optimistic stage of gathering information.

2. Frustration

Unanticipated challenges arise here. As the authors put it, “challenge is a catalyst for your true creativity because it forces you to find an alternative approach.”

3. Incubation

This is the deep breath phase when ideas and challenges are given time to percolate. Progress is purposefully delayed to spark new creativity.

4. Strategizing

A variety of strategies can be implemented here, but it’s important to keep in mind that part of strategizing involves looping “several times between strategizing and incubation.”

5. Illumination

“The culmination of the incubation and strategizing is breakthrough—the illumination of an ‘Aha!’ experience.”

6. Verification

This is when you test your idea in the real world. Feedback received during this phase is collected and considered.

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