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Each Cultivation Technique acts like a lens, focussing on one creative component by means of which ideas are generated and the creative text - or creative work - is further developed.

ball bullet How does 5W1H work?

The Cultivation Technique 5W1H takes an opening statement defining the specific idea (point-of-departure) for a creative work, and asks the standard questions Who? What? Why? When? Where? How? of each opening statement.

These 5W1H questions - asked in sequence - provide an outline view of the possible structure for a creative text (or other creative output) that could be developed from the starting point of the specific idea that is being analysed.

ball bullet Illustration: 5W1H

The following is an example of a passage from The Tailor developed through the process of asking the questions Who? What? Why? When? Where? How? of the specific idea described.

Specific Idea: –

After a period of struggle Anjali changes the direction she is taking, and begins a series of workshops in the local town hall. This leads to a meeting at ‘Threads’, Anjali’s tailoring shop, that breaks the stasis.


The Factory Manager of a weaving business which is a local significant employer.


He is in need of skills that his business does not have.


The weaving factory has been taken over by a Danish company which is demanding change. The Factory Manager has been given the chance to make his own proposal, but it must be a well delivered and persuasive argument.


Anjali has only a few days to design a solution that will give the Factory Manager the presence and persuasiveness he needs.


The presentation is to the Danish Company Family Members in the Weaving Factory Boardroom.


The overall impression an audience receives is always stronger than the words involved. Anjali must design and communicate that impression.


The strained and bearded man introduced himself as the Weaving Factory Manager, whom Anjali felt she knew already from the descriptions Eileen had given. He spoke in a continuous unbroken drone, with few intervals between the sentences, sounding like a sewing machine fastening a hem in place. It was clear that, to him, this was just another difficult task on another difficult day. It was another difficult day of work and it must be endured.

‘You can put a thousand figures in front of an Investor. You can demonstrate a solid track record. But any investment is a leap of faith – but understand – it is a leap of faith insured by the impression, the gut feel. You put on a tailored suit with a hand-dyed tie, and you stand amongst twenty other people with tailored suits, their individuality, their distinction, expressed in just that tie. It is the same hammer that strikes in the same old way.

‘You can help me by increasing certainty. You can help me by stitching persuasion into presentation. You can help me by alteration, so that everything we wear radiates the message of confidence we need to transmit to this Danish audience; this audience that is already inclined to doubt that the Wetledale Weaving Mill is competent to achieve their expectation without their close control.’