Make a Mess/Clean Up Your Mess™
Techniques of Creative Problem Solving


To help you and your organization become more innovative and effective, this seminar and workshop introduces managers, marketers and entrepreneurs to the fundamentals of the creative process and creative problem solving.

In it, creativity is demystified. Rather than being discussed in terms of inspiration and talent, attendees are shown the practical tools and techniques used by creative professionals to generate innovation on a daily basis.

You’ll be exposed to the “Circle of Creation,” a process in which one alternates repeatedly between “Making a Mess” and “Cleaning up your Mess.”

You’ll also encounter useful concepts such as “The Thinking is in the Doing,” “Thinking within the Box,
and “Either you have One Idea or you have No Idea.”

Moreover, you’ll engage in a number of creative problem solving activities which put these concepts into practice.

All in all, attendees will leave with greater confidence in their own creative abilities, and a conceptual framework to put those abilities to immediate use.

What you’ll learn

  • What creativity is and what it’s not
  • A practical method to approach creative problems of all sorts
  • Comfort in dealing with ambiguity
  • Confidence in moving ahead without a clear roadmap
  • How to remove creative “blocks”
  • Abstract thinking
  • Critical thinking
  • How to develop a vision

What we’ll cover

  • What creativity is, what it’s not and why it’s important
  • A practical approach
  • The Make a Mess/Clean Up your Mess™ creative method
    • Gleaned from the pros in the arts and sciences
    • Applicable across all types of problems
  • An approach based on principles
    • It’s not creative unless it’s out there in the world
    • The thinking is in the doing
    • Creativity is about limits
  • Myths about creativity that hold you back
    • Divine inspiration
    • You’ve got to start with a vision
    • Thinking outside the box
  • That’s a problem, because today we all have to be creative
    • Computers
    • Cheap foreign labor
    • Importance of branding
  • But it’s a good problem to have, because creativity has great benefits
    • Learning how to learn
    • Dealing with ambiguity
    • Moving ahead fearlessly
  • And we have a process to do it
    • Deeper exploration of Make a Mess component of creative method
    • Deeper exploration of Cleaning Up your Mess component of creative method
    • Each activity informs the other in a “Circle of Creation”
  • Example of the method in action
  • Successful creative solutions are “in a box”
    • Examples from the arts, design branding
  • Unsuccessful solution remain a mess
    • Examples from the arts, design and branding
  • How to Make a Mess
    • Review of the concept
    • Exploration of techniques
  • How to Clean Up Your Mess
    • Review of the concept
    • Exploration of techniques
  • Either you have One Idea or No Idea
    • Examples from different disciplines
  • What to do if you get stuck
    • Change the Box
    • Follow new rules of your own creation
  • Letting Go
    • You never know if you’re quite finished
    • Decision-making and finalizing your creation

How you’ll apply what you learn

  • Development of a branding campaign for an imaginary product or service following the Make a Mess/Clean Up Your Mess method
  • Supplemental creative exercises can include:
    • Free Association Exercises
    • Group Story Writing
    • Abstracting unifying ideas from stories, series of photos, ads


    Our courses are available on site and through virtual instruction. We will gladly customize a course to meet your specific needs.

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