The Innovation Blog

Wake Up Your Creative Side: Skill #2 Developmental Thinking

Posted by Creative Realities on September 20, 2010

Skill #3: Developmental Thinking

Understanding what's working and what's not, to improve and refine your creative thinking and to solve problems. 

Ideas never begin as totally worthless or perfect.  They fall somewhere along a continuum between the two.  Successful creative thinking requires an understanding of a) how to evaluate beginning ideas and b) how to use that understanding to improve them, moving them over the “Threshold of Acceptance.”  Creative Realities calls this “Open-Minded Evaluation (OME).”

developmental thinking


To develop beginning thoughts into ideas or concepts that retain newness and become both feasible and Attractive.


  1. Clearly State the beginning idea.
  2. First list only the parts you like about it/are working well (clarifies what’s valuable/essential and moves the idea away from worthless and towards perfect.)
  3. Then list the things that are hurdles to success or acceptance.
    1. Not little things (“Death by 1000 cuts”).
    2. Show-stoppers only.
    3. Use the language “How to…” to phrase the issue while inviting problem solving.
    4. Select the most important “How to’s.”
    5. Brainstorm ways to solve/overcome/modify.
  4. Use this input to revise and restate the idea in a new, more powerful and acceptable format.


New ideas that are both feasible and attractive.

Topics: critical ideation skills, creative problem solving skills, developmental thinking