Eindelijk iemand die er in slaagt om te beschrijven wat er omgaat in m’n hoofd als ik creatief ben of creatief probeer te zijn. En het straffe is, James Webb Young schreef het bijna 50 jaar geleden.

“A technique for producing ideas” is een flinterdun boekje, maar geen enkel woord is irrelevant. Bovendien, actueler dan ooit tevoren.

Creativiteit zit volgens James Webb Young eenvoudig in mekaar. Twee principes : the principle that an idea is a new combination, and the principle that the ability to make new combinations is heightened by an ability to see relationships.

Nieuwe ideeën genereren is een proces. Daarin kun je vijf stappen onderscheiden.

1. Gather raw material.

Specific raw material over het product én general raw material.

Aan de ene kant is dat a real knowledge of a product, and of people in relation to it. Getting it is something like the process which was recommended to De Maupassant as the way to learn to write. “Go out into the streets of Paris”, he was told by an older writer, “and pick out a cab driver. But study him until you can describe him so that he is seen in your description to be an individual, different from every other cab driver in the world.”

Of equal importance with the gathering of these specific materials is the continuous process of gathering general materials. Every really good creative person in advertising whom I have ever know has always had two noticeable characteristics. First, there was no subject under the sun in which he could not easily get interested – from say, Egyptian burial customs to modern art. Every facet of life had fascination for him. Second, he was an extensive browser in all sorts of fields of information. For it is with the advertising man as with the cow : now browsing, no milk.

Young gebruikt een zeer mooie metafoor. Ik zal die oppikken in m’n eigen presentaties (#cherrypicking). Het is als een kaleidoscoop. Hoe meer stukjes glas je er in steekt, hoe meer verrassende combinaties je in de kijker ziet.

2. Let it cook in your head.

3. Drop the problem completely and turn to whatever stimulates your imagination and emotions.

4. Out of nowhere the Idea will appear.

5. Take your little new born idea out into the world of reality. Submit it to the criticism of the judicious.

Boek hier kopen.