Creative Problem Solving Process

Art 200/ Art 260 / Greg Clayton

9th Stage: Let Go

Creative Problem-Solving: Let Go

Walk away from it. Call it 'done.'

This stage is a book-end to the first stage — 'Accept'. In both of these stages the issue is you — your attention, your commitment, your attitude. In 'Accept', you claim the problem as yours to solve. In 'Let Go', you release responsibility and allow your solution to be what it is — useful, brilliant and innovative, or marginal — whatever. You give yourself permission to walk away.

In this stage you both honor the work you have done, and honor your ability to take on more problems. By freeing yourself from prior responsibilities, you are empowered to effectively dedicate yourself to new responsibilities, projects and solutions. You have only so much attention to give. Here you are responsibly managing it.

Live With It

Note that includes another stage in its model — Live with It.

This a 10th, and unofficial stage for us. It turns our list of 9 into a full circle — an ongoing creative service.

The idea here is that we constantly live among conditions in need of improvements, corrections and just plain joy. There is work to be done.

The "Live with It" stage affirms that we step back and
a) experience,
b) observe and
c) contemplate the consequences of our designs.

We, in essence, ask 'what really is the outcome of my contribution? What difference does it make?' 'Does it have the impact that I expected?' \\

The Designer's perspective involves an ongoing consciousness of action and response, objects and their users, information and its learners. We pay attention to the ongoing flow of cause and effect, hoping to discover other causes that we can create to nurture healthy responses in our community. We look for ways to serve, to live relevant lives, to design a better world. 'Living with it' affirms this attentiveness to the rough edges that might yet be smoothed out, the voids that might be filled and the mercy that ought to replace injustice.

Observe how well your solutions served, so that you can design still more effective solutions next time.

Creativity | Creative Process | Prior Stage—Evaluate

Accept | Analyze | Define | Incubate | Ideate | Select | Implement | Evaluate | Let Go


Greg Clayton
2D Design
Color Theory


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