A to Z of
Creativity Techniques
Critical Path Diagrams
Do Nothing
DO IT is an acronym that stands for:

D - Define problem
O - Open mind and apply creative techniques
I - Identify best solution
T - Transform

These stages are explained in more detail below:

Define Problem

Analysing the problem to ensure that the correct question is being asked. The following points may help to do this:

  • Check that you are tackling the problem, not the symptoms of the problem. To do this, ask yourself why the problem exists repeatedly until you get to the root of it. (see 'Why?' etc. - repeatable questions)
  • Lay out the bounds of the problem. Work out the objectives that you must achieve and the constraints that you are operating under.
  • Where a problem appears to be very large, break it down into smaller parts. Keep on going until each part is achievable in its own right, or needs a precisely defined area of research to be carried out.
  • Summarize the problem in as concise a form as possible.

Open Mind and Apply Creative Technique

Once you know the problem that you want to solve, you are ready to start generating possible solutions. It is very tempting just to accept the first good idea that you come across. If you do this, you will miss many even better solutions.

At this stage of DO IT we are not interested in evaluating ideas - we are trying to generate as many different ideas as possible. Even bad ideas may be the seeds of good ones.

You can use the whole range of creativity techniques covered on this site to obtain possible solutions.

Identify the Best Solution

Only at this stage do you select the best of the ideas you have generated. It may be that the best idea is obvious. Alternatively, it may be worth examining and developing a number of ideas in detail before you select one. You can use techniques such as ((Force-field analysis)).


Having identified the problem and created a solution to it, the final stage is to implement this solution. This involves not only development of a reliable product from your idea, but all the marketing and business side as well. This may take a great deal of time and energy.

Many very creative people fail at this stage. They will have fun creating new products and services that may be years ahead of what is available on the market. They will then fail to develop them, and watch someone else make a fortune out of the idea several years later.