Creative Problem Solving Skills

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. This course will give participants an overview of the entire creative problem solving process, as well as key problem solving tools that they can use every day.

Research has consistently demonstrated that when clear goals are associated with learning that the learning occurs more easily and rapidly. By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • 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
  • Use idea generating tools, such as affinity diagrams, word chaining, the box method, the six thinking hats, and the blink method
  • 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 re-refine it
  • Understand how to identify the tasks and resources necessary to implement solutions
  • Evaluate and adapt solutions to reality
  • Follow up with solution implementation to celebrate successes and identify improvements

The Problem Solving Method

  • What is a Problem?
  • What is Creative Problem Solving?
  • What are the Steps in the Creative Solving Process?
  • Case Study
  • Assessment

Information Gathering

  • Understanding Types of Information
  • Identifying Key Questions
  • Methods of Gathering Information
  • Case Study
  • Assessment

Problem Definition

  • Defining the Problem
  • Determining Where the Problem Originated
  • Defining the Present State and the Desired State
  • Stating and Restating the Problem
  • Analyzing the Problem
  • Writing the Problem Statement
  • Case Study
  • Assessment

Preparing for Brainstorming

  • Identifying Mental Blocks
  • Removing Mental Blocks
  • Stimulating Creativity
  • Case Study
  • Assessment

Generating Solutions (I)

  • Brainstorming Basics
  • Brain-Writing and Mind Mapping
  • Duncker Diagrams
  • Case Study
  • Assessment

Generating Solutions (II)

  • The Morphological Matrix
  • The Six Thinking Hats
  • The Blink Method
  • Case Study
  • Assessment

Analyzing Solutions

  • Developing Criteria
  • Analyzing Wants and Needs
  • Using Cost/Benefit Analysis
  • Case Study
  • Assessment

Selecting a Solution

  • Doing a Final Analysis
  • Paired Comparison Analysis
  • Analyzing Potential Problems
  • Case Study
  • Assessment

Planning Your Next Steps

  • Identifying Tasks
  • Identifying Resources
  • Implementing, Evaluating, and Adapting
  • Case Study
  • Assessment
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