I call the creative process ‘Kissing the Frog.’ Kiss enough of them and a prince is bound to appear.
Ed Catmull, Pixar Studios Co-Founder/President, talked about creativity in the Harvard Business Review a few months ago and gave a similar picture from the movie making perspective:
“The leaders sort through a mass of ideas to find the ones that fit into a coherent whole—that support the story—which is a very difficult task. It’s like an archaeological dig where you don’t know what you’re looking for or whether you will even find anything. The process is downright scary.” Ed Catmull – How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity, HBR.org.
He provides several concepts for fostering creativity including highlighting the importance of a post-mortem that fosters real conversation on what went right as well as what went wrong. (In Scouts we called it Thorns and Roses – everyone brings up a ‘do again’ and a ‘do differently’ to discuss.)
His article or the HBR in Brief article is well worth your time.