Created by advertising guru James Webb Young, this reliable process for aiding creative thinking is in widespread use, especially in the face of problem-solving situations:

  1. Research what you already know: Explore the subject thoroughly and put your ideas together.

  2. Digest the information: Assimilate and review the information you gathered in step 1.

  3. Drop it! Park the problem and do something else for a while until step 4 materialises.

  4. Wait for an idea to come: Often a sudden and unexpected positive outcome happens.

  5. Reassess your idea: Examine the outcome objectively.