I find nothing wrong with Alain's latest essay. It provides a reasonable summary of a "creativity workshop" approach. Much like, in fact, might be offered by the art schools about whom Alain takes a potshot (not without justification). A lot of people can probably take away something useful from the article and it deserves its place in this forum.
I feel it should be said that the essay addresses what I will call "creativity" with a lower case "c". I don't believe that an essay such as this would have been useful at all to the historic figures Alain cites - Edison, da Vinci, Weston, Benny Goodman**).
The true innovator, one who creates new genres and blazes new trails, as opposed to those who construct a variation within an established canon, operates on a different plane. I will contend that the true innovator is driven by obsession and has little choice but to pursue an inner agenda. This is not to say that this awards the true innovator a superior position in the scheme of things but it does result in a different output from what we might term the journeyman approach. (Read Donald Kuspit's "The Psychoanalytic Construction of the Artist" in Redeeming Art: Critical Reveries) Think of some of the most brilliant photographers of the last century - W. Eugene Smith, Diane Arbus, Gary Winogrand, Ralph Eugene Meatyard. All arguably obsessive/compulsives of varying degree and benignity. These innovators have little need to concern themselves with tricks and dodges, their obsessiveness carries them dashing into the waves rather than tentatively dipping their toe in the swash. And, by the way, "we" like our innovators this way - it lets us off the hook, to wit "I could be an innovator too, but I don't want to be obsessive and self-destructive."
Sadly, the above discussion has more than a whiff of nostalgia. Much of art today is motivated, not by vision and obsession (used here in an objective and not necessarily pejorative sense) but by market calculation. (In the Kuspit cited above refer to the chapter "Art is Dead; Long live Aesthetic Management"). Andy Warhol is a prime example of this. A couple other examples are Jeff Koons, who subcontracts the fabrication of all his work and, in photography, Vanessa Beecroft.
So, Alain's essay can be helpful in getting one's feet wet, but as an essay to guide you to be an innovator, it is: 1) not Alain's intent, I would expect, 2) impossible to construct, 3) not necessary.
** Benny Goodman?, let me give you a quote from another jazz musician, Rasaan Roland Kirk: "If you want to learn to be free, spend all day in bed with me!" This is an alternative workshop approach.