Creative Problem Solving
In the past few decades, psychologists and business people alike have discovered that successful problem solvers tend to use the same type of process to identify and implement the solutions to their problems. This process works for any kind of problem, large or small.
The Problem Solving Method
To begin, let’s look at the creative problem solving process. In this module, we will define “problem” and other situations that lend themselves to the creative problem solving process. We will introduce the concept of solving problems using a creative process. The approach we use in this course includes six steps, which are also introduced in this module.
What is a Problem?
The Random House Unabridged Dictionary includes several definitions for the word “problem.” The definitions that we are most concerned with while learning about the creative problem solving process are:
- “any question or matter involving doubt, uncertainty, or difficulty,” and
- “a question proposed for solution or discussion.”
A problem can be defined as a scenario in which the current situation does not match the desired situation, or anytime actual performance does not match expectations. Other labels for a problem include challenges or opportunities, or any situation or circumstance for which there is room for improvement.
The Creative Problem Solving course will give you an overview of the entire creative problem-solving process, as well as key problem-solving tools that you can use every day. Skills such as brainstorming, information gathering, analyzing data, and identifying resources will be covered throughout the course.
- Understand problems and the creative problem-solving process
- Identify types of information to gather and key questions to ask in problem-solving
- Identify the importance of defining a problem correctly
- Identify and use four different problem definition tools
- Write concrete problem statements
- Use basic brainstorming tools to generate ideas for solutions
- Evaluate potential solutions against criteria, including cost/benefit analysis and group voting
- Perform a final analysis to select a solution
- Understand the roles that fact and intuition play in selecting a solution
- Understand the need to refine the shortlist and redefine it
- Understand how to identify the tasks and resources necessary to implement solutions
- Evaluate and adapt solutions to reality