I usually use eight main elements in a creative cycle:

A. Develop awareness and understanding

  1. Identify a specific concrete challenge/opportunity with real life examples
  2. Understand and accept the current situation
    1. Getting to what matters
    2. Ensure relevant and accurate information is informing the process
    3. Challenging current beliefs and expectations
      • Knowledge gap? (what we think we know vs. the actual situation)
      • Desirability gap? (what we want vs. the actual situation)
      • Saying/doing gap? (what we say we will do vs. what we actually do)
  3. Review the challenge/opportunity. So what?  What are we going to do about it? (Does it need to be framed/re-framed?  Let’s not get ‘hung-up’ on excuses…..)

B. Open new and/or different ways forward

  1. Create space for new perspectives, possibilities and ideas
  2. Capture the ways forward and crystallise
  3. Design/shape the ideas into attractive and practical propositions for users

C. Implement incremental change with ongoing review

  1. Implement changes – usually incrementally with appropriate adjustments
  2. Develop relevant and accurate feedback, review and follow-up
  3. Begin the cycle again