Creativity – Problem Solving

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Creative problem solving is a process in which a problem/challenge is approached in an innovative and imaginative manner.

The creative problem solving process empowers you to redefine the problem, identify the embedded opportunities and come up with innovative solutions and responses before you decide on a course of action/solution.

The creative problem solving is an elaborate process which starts from the identification of problem and goes all the way till the implementation of the solution.

In the simplest manner creative problem solving can be defined as

  • Breaking down a problem with the objective of understanding it
  • Generating ideas towards solving the problem
  • Evaluating and analyzing all ideas
  • Identifying the best solution in accordance with the carried out evaluation and analysis

Alternatively and in a more elaborative manner the creative problem thinking process can be broken down as

  • Clarification and Identification of the Problem
  • Researching the problem
  • Formulating the creative challenges
  • Generating all possible ideas and solutions
  • Combining the ideas
  • Evaluation of the ideas
  • Formulating plan of action
  • Implementation of the idea

Core Principles of Creative Problem Solving

Let us take a look into the core principles of creative problem solving

·        Balancing Divergent and Convergent Thinking

Two distinct kinds of thinking are deemed essential to critical thinking these are

  • Divergent thinking
  • Convergent thinking

Divergent thinking is the name given to the phenomenon of coming up with generating lots of options in response to a problem. Convergent thinking on the other hand is the name given to the process of evaluating options and making decisions.

This principle of creative problem solving advocates finding the right balance between divergent and convergent thinking

·        Looking at and Asking Problems as Questions

This suggests that you rephrase challenges and problems as open ended questions as more than one set of possibility makes it easier to come up with solutions.

Adopting this approach offers a number of advantages and facilitates the creative problem solving process. First, it helps in the generation of rich information regarding the problem. Secondly, asking closed questions enables you to illicit short and accurate answers such as disagreements and conformations instead of vague responses and replies.

On the contrary merely stating the problem can only generate limited responses.

·        Defer Judgment

This suggests that you should refrain from jumping to judging solutions as this will only limit and holdback idea generation process. Therefore, defer it and give yourself adequate time to figure out, explore and identify ideas and solutions.

·        Focus on Language

Though you may not realize it yet language has a big impact on your creative problem solving skills. Therefore, use the right language and refrain from using language that may serve as a barrier towards creative problem solving. This suggests that you make use of the words “yes” “and” and refrain from using the words “No” and “but” as these would impediment the creative problem solving process.

Creative problem solving skill is just the skill which can allow you to alleviate yourself to heights both in your personal, social and professional life. Organizations are always on the outlook for leaders who can solve problems in a creative manner rather than relying on the conventional problem solving techniques and manners.

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