Creative problem solving


The uniqueness and variety of problems that managers face demand that they be able to solve problems creatively. Creativity is partly a frame of mind. You need to expand your mind’s capabilities — that is, open yourself up to new ideas. Every individual has the ability to improve his or her creativity, but many people simply don’t try to develop that ability. You can be more effective at solving problems creatively if you use the following suggestions.

Think of yourself as creative: Research shows that if you think you can’t be creative, you won’t be. Believing in your ability to be creative is the first step in becoming more creative.

Pay attention to your intuition. Every individual has a subconscious mind that works well. Sometimes answers will come when you least expect them. Listen to that “inner voice�. In fact, most creative people will keep a notepad near their bed and write down ideas when the thoughts come to them.

Move away from your comfort zone: Every individual has a comfort zone in which certainty exists. But creativity and the known often do not mix. To be creative, you need to move away from the status quo and focus your mind on something new.

Determine what you want to do: This includes such things as taking time to understand before beginning to try to resolve it, getting all the facts in mind, and trying to identify the most important facts.

Think outside the box: Use analogies whenever possible. For example, approach your problem like a fish out of water and look at what the fish does to cope. Or use the things you have to do to find your way when it’s foggy to help you solve your problem. Use different problem-solving strategies such as verbal, visual, mathematical, or theatrical. Look at your problem from a different perspective or ask yourself what someone else might do if faced with the same situation.

Look for ways to do things better: This may involve trying consciously to be original, not worrying about looking foolish, keeping an open mind, being alert to odd or puzzling facts, thinking

of unconventional ways to use objects and the environment, discarding usual or habitual ways of doing things, and striving for objectivity be being as critical of your own ideas as you would those of someone else.

Find several right answers: Being creative means continuing to look for other solutions even when you think you have solved the problem. A better, more creative solution just might be found.

Believe in finding a workable solution: Like believing in yourself, you also need to believe in your ideas. If you don’t think you can find a solution, you probably won’t.

Brainstorm with others: Creativity is not an isolated activity. Bouncing ideas off of others creates a synergistic effect.

Turn creative ideas into action. Coming up with creative ideas is only part of the process. Once the ideas are generated, they must be implemented. Keeping great ideas in your mind, or on papers that no one will read, does little to expand your creative abilities.

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