The following is the original and the rewrite can be found by clicking here.
So I was asked to articulate creative problem solving and outline the process to others so they can understand how it works - take the concept, along with my enthusiasm and design a tangible utility that people can understand and execute on... Sounds reasonable.
Truth be told I figured I needed a couple of days of thinking and rough notes, two days for formalizing a crisp PowerPoint deck and a day for proofing... I'd be ready for the boardroom or the coffee shop. You would think that after all these years I wouldn't be so "impulsive" with my scheduling.
What became apparent very quickly is that good ol' effective problem solving (and it's process) is primarily defined by successful resolution of the problem; creative problem solving seems to creep into the discussion when problem resolution isn't "so successful". Let me also throw this out there - it is very possible that the problem was not solved because of poor execution of the solution, not because the solution was flawed... this just gets better all the time don't you think? So for this current discussion, and the sake of my sanity, let us assume execution of the solution is not an issue.
So why don't we just start with creative problem solving and just increase the probability of success - it is assumed creative problem solving increases success right? There is something in the word creative it seems... magical and mysterious.
There are a number of problem solving processes that are well defined and can take you through the process of situation analysis, problem identification, solution identification and execution & monitoring (simplified) ... and they work. It's when they don't work the word creative appears. It was this word that threw a wrench in my "impulsive planning schedule" that I mentioned.
I've delayed the inevitable long enough and now I guess I will have to take a stab at what creative means with regards to creative problem solving... so here goes - "thinking, interpreting and acting differently". And this dear reader is where my head exploded - as individuals, and business in particular, we want consistent, predictable, constant and straight forward ... oh yes, we are also habitual, change adverse and more often than not do as we are told (and lets not forget all that schooling). Different is really not what we are looking for.
So what does it take to "think, interpret and act differently"? I've started a list -
- Identify and change belief systems
- Develop a diverse knowledge base
- crush group think
- encourage lateral thinking
- become risk tolerant
- more to come
So let's say, up until now you agree with my train of thought and feel sorry for my head exploding (as spectacular as it was), there is still that looming question which in light the list I started speaks to the antithesis of how we behave, even with the best problem solving process supporting us... "How do you actually get one to think, interpret and act differently?"
Well it seems like that crisp PowerPoint deck is going to take a little longer and I now have a much larger number of potential blog topics.
Stay tuned.... and thank you for reading,