Creative problem solving

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Creative problem solving
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Creative thinking is a fresh perspective but also ability to find out unorthodox solutions about the topic. This term is not describing a kind of person but rather involves skills with results in camming up with useful ideas. In order to solve a problem in a creative way is required to start thinking outside the box, break down and reorganize our knowledge about the subject . It is problematic to compose unambiguous definition because this concept has many dimensions.

Creative problem solving process


In this stage you clarify your vision and target, gather all needed information and refine the goal.An important move is to make a long list of challenge statements. This helps to identify wish statement, get and select all needed information and data and stimulate new thinking.

  • What do you want to create?
  • Why it is your challenge?
  • Do you have any criteria to identify success?


The purpose of going through this stage, is to generate ideas that answer the challenge questions. At this stage your brain is not concentrating on a problem but on the solution. Analysis of a problem and development of a solution can take days, months or even more.

  • What ideas come to your mind?


On this stage of creative problem solving process, required is a list of solutions selected by level of potential. Evaluation Matrix is helpful to categorize when multiple solutions exist. Use success criteria to be specific. Choosing the best options and blending them leads to creation robust solution.

Implement Last stage is dedicated to formulating a plan. Creating an "assisters" list can support to make solutions real, making a "resisters" list helps with setting ways to overpass their pushback.

Focus on creating plan, arrange the right time and the right person to the action. Action plan helps you to assign short-time, mid-term, long term tasks, responsible person and deadlines.

Methods of creative thinking to solve problems

Brainstorming- This technique is focused on quantity of ideas. More ideas are making a higher chance for a creative solution. Few rules must be followed. Forbidden is to criticise the idea to not disturb the process. All idea are welcome - no bad ideas. The ideas should be generated in a short space of time. Next step is a selection of the best ideas, developing them and building on them new better ideas. The last stage is categorizing ideas and discussion which can be implemented.

Disney Creative Strategy- The main goal of this strategy is to get one stretching, realistic and robust solution. Each stage represents 1 thinker out of 3 different types of thinking -the dreamer, the realist and the critic. One problem is presented, every participant has 10 minutes to solve it out. The ideas are presented by dreamer - tends to be full of passion and enthusiasm Possibilities are analysed by realist - imaginary ideas are turned into a real action plan Critic focus on potential problems - In order to find weak points and the way to solve it As a result, the team provides a creative idea and an action plan.

Lateral thinking-The term was introduced by Edward De Bono who created two different models relevant to creativity thinking: parallel thinking and lateral thinking. Lateral thinking is a way of thinking that looks for a solution to a fixed matter through unconventional methods that would usually be ignored by logical thinking. It solves problems by a creative or indirect approach. Lateral thinking applies reasoning that may appear not obvious and includes ideas that cannot be gathered by employing only conventional logic. The examples of lateral thinking techniques are provocation, challenge and alternatives. Parallel thinking consist on considering over an issue in in parallel in the same direction in a group of people in a cooperative and coordinate way. Participants suggest as many claims as possible in many parallel tracks. They are not argued even if they are contradictory. In this way they explore a subject and all contributors share the knowledge, facts, and assumptions. The solution is designed from the parallel statements that have been laid out. Lateral and parallel thinking method shows that coming up with breakthrough ideas may come from systematic, deliberate process but the result is innovative thinking. Creative thinking is not considered as a talent but rather, a learnable skill.


Author: Aleksandra Godos