The Rhythm of Creativity

“Creativity makes a leap, then looks to see where it is.”

~ Mason Cooley 

The Rhythm of Creativity

By Michael Bungay Stanier

There’s a basic pattern, a rhythm, to the creative process, a backbeat driving the emergence of ideas:

Out. In.
Expand. Contract.
Diverge. Converge.
Create. Select.


You open up, expand possibilities and have ideas (out, expand, diverge, create).  Then you narrow your focus, close down the options, and make a choice (in, contract, converge, select).

And repeat. (Stanier, 2010, p. 109-110).

From:  Stanier, M.B. (2010).  Do more great work.  New York: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.

Reprinted with permission from the OSU Leadership Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, (614) 292-3114,

Coaching Call To Action

When I read Michael’s article, I laughed out loud and thought it was brilliant.  I love simple ideas that make a big difference.  As I sit down to write next week’s Tip, I will remember this rhythm.  And you?  What will you do to hone your creative process this week?  Share your ideas below.