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Entrepreneurship and Creativity

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Individual report for MBA at University of Nottingham

Individual report for MBA at University of Nottingham

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  • 1. 1 The Ingenuity Creative Problem Solving ProcessNottingham University Business School ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND CREATIVITY (N14M90) Individual Assignment: The Ingenuity Creative Problem Solving Process LEA SZU, ONG ID: 005813 COPY [1]
  • 2. 2 The Ingenuity Creative Problem Solving ProcessContent1. Introduction .......................................................................................................................................... 32. Literature Review .................................................................................................................................. 43. The Whole Brain Approach ................................................................................................................... 54. Identifying and Recognizing Opportunities........................................................................................... 65. Phase One: Definition of Problem ........................................................................................................ 7 5.1 Define: Analyse the evidence; describe the symptoms ................................................................ 7 5.2 Discover: Explore the structure of the problem, find the root causes ......................................... 8 5.3 Determine: Decide how to attempt a solution ............................................................................. 86. Phase Two: Discovery ........................................................................................................................... 9 6.1 Define: Prepare to find solution.................................................................................................... 9 6.2 Discover: Generate multiple solutions.......................................................................................... 9 6.3 Determine: Realistic concepts begin to emerge ......................................................................... 107. Phase Three: Determination ............................................................................................................... 11 7.1 Define: Select and engineer potential solutions ......................................................................... 11 7.2 Discover: Investigating the alternatives; finding the best solution ............................................ 11 7.3 Determine: Looking to the future ............................................................................................... 118. Conclusions ......................................................................................................................................... 129. Implications ......................................................................................................................................... 12Appendix ..................................................................................................................................................... 13References .................................................................................................................................................. 14Total Word Count: 2,360
  • 3. 3 The Ingenuity Creative Problem Solving Process1. Introduction The objective of the paper is to develop an understanding of the Ingenuity Creative ProblemSolving Process. The paper will first look into the thinking styles and learning preferences in accordancewith the Herrmann Whole Brain Approach. We will next explore the Ingenuity processes (i.e. Define,Discovery and Determine) to identify problem and discover opportunity, and then the idea generationvia the brainstorming method. With a lot of ideas, we will look at idea syntheses and then use relevantcriteria to determine which idea and solution to be implemented. The conclusion will highlight therelevance of the divergent and convergent thinking in Ingenuity based on the literature introduced. TheImplications section will reveal some challenges and factors that contributed to the problem solvingprocess.
  • 4. 4 The Ingenuity Creative Problem Solving Process2. Literature Review Due to the nature of the Ingenuity approach for clear thinking is deliberately on divergent andconvergent thinking, it is worthwhile to review the literature from Thompson (2003) that suggestscreative problem solving are related to divergent thinking while teamsrequires convergent thinking. According to Thompson (2003), ideas can be categorize into four conceptual domains as shownin Figure 1. Thompson suggested that the best idea is from the upper left quadrant called CreativeRealism because the ideas are highly imaginative and highly connected to current structures.Hementioned that weshould strive to achieve creative ideas, which represent highly original and novelideas, as opposed to conservative, traditional ideas. The vertical continuum distinguishes new ideas thatare realistic (connected to current ideas and knowledge) from ideas that are idealistic (disconnectedfrom current knowledge). If new ideas are not connected to current ideas and knowledge, they are oftenunimplementable. Figure 1: Adapted from Thompson 2003: Four Conceptual Domains of New Ideas Classification
  • 5. 5 The Ingenuity Creative Problem Solving Process3. The Whole Brain Approach The team began with a simple survey to determine individual preferences for different learningactivities. With the result, we formed a group of six members with three from quadrant D, and each onefrom quadrant A, B and C. The combination is ideal as we are having members from all the fourquadrants, with different career background and experiences so to be diverse with the broad range ofproblem solving and learning strategies among us. Figure 2: Adapted from hbdi.com (2012): Team members’ positioning in The Whole Brain®Model The team diversity was proven effectiveas we observed how all the D thinkers (Elaine, Eric andPhelicia) tend to contribute ideas based on the “big picture” context, defining visions and introducingnew concepts through brainstorming.Eric, who was acknowledged for his good presentation skillintroduced the mind-mapping tool during the brainstorming. The A thinker, Billy,resolvesargumentsduring debates andJoe from the B quadrant ensures the team follows the Ingenuity process carefullyand sequentially.C thinker, Merly feedback when things not right and emphasized that decision makinghas to be done as a group.Interestingly, although survey result showedPheliciais in the D quadrant, weobserved that she has stronger thinking preference in quadrant A justified by her excellent analyticalskill especially datafrom financial reports.
  • 6. 6 The Ingenuity Creative Problem Solving Process4. Identifying and Recognizing Opportunities During the brainstorming session to identify a problem and opportunity to be addressed in thebusiness idea,we listed few issues by looking at the environment around and observe the trend of thecurrent economic and social factors.The list includes issues on ageing population which will eventuallybecame a burden to the society and government, the negative effect from environmental Issues,potential of the medical tourism, the inefficient of the child care centers and others societal relatedissues. We have selected the ageing population as the primary issue to be addressed via a simple votingsystem. By doing a quick research over the Internet to verify on this problem, United Nation predictedthat Malaysia is likely to reach an ageing nation status by 2035 with the number of people above the ageof 60 reaching 15% of the population. Based on this fact, we have agreed that with more elderly citizen,there would more society and economic impacts on the society and country. This is in accordance toBarringer and Ireland (2006) that sometimes identifying business opportunities simply involve noticing aproblem and finding a way to solve it.
  • 7. 7 The Ingenuity Creative Problem Solving Process5. Phase One: Definition of Problem5.1 Define: Analyse the evidence; describe the symptoms We started by identifying who are these elderly citizens who has causes the problem. Wespecified them based on few dimensions which include those who are knowledgeable and retired, andhealthy and capable of taking care of their own self. Everyone see this as a problem as we observepeople around us who have become the burden oftheir children and family starting from the moment they retired and eventually grow old and becameunhealthy and leaving only bad memories to the next generation. We looked at the reason why there are more elderly citizens in the future. One reasonis that lifeexpectancy at birth has showed an upward trend, an improvement attributed to the extensive networkof health care services in Malaysia and the advances of medical technology. There isalso significantdecreased of fertility among Malaysian, as they often emphasize on financial stability and quality lifestyle than having childrenwhich causes more commitments. Wedescribes the impact of these senior citizenswith a series of ‘So’. ‘So what if they are aged?’ - ‘When they are a lot of them in the society, they will become a burden to their children and society’. ‘So what if they became burden?’ ‘Our society will become non-productive.’ ‘So what if the society became non-productive?’ ‘So our country image, Gross Domestic Product (GDP)and happiness index level willdrop’. ‘So what if country’s GDP dropped?’ ‘So our government will start to allocate more budgets to take care of these unproductive citizens and that is indirectly from us the tax payer’.
  • 8. 8 The Ingenuity Creative Problem Solving Process5.2 Discover: Explore the structure of the problem, find the root causes Looking at the big picture of the problem, we investigate how do the elderly citizens becameunproductive and eventually became burden to society. One possiblereason was thatthey are notleading a healthy and meaningful lifestyle after retiredandas they get older although they are still able tocontribute to the society. They became lonely, not engaged sociallyand lead a non-meaningfullife.Theyhave no channel to contribute back to the society and there is no way the society can “find” andhelp them. They eventually led an unhealthy lifestyle and became more susceptible to poorer healthstatus with long-term illness and eventually lead to healthcare burdens. Inactive elderly citizens in the society area complex problem due to the large population of thegroup and there are many variablesthat will influence the solution in term of culture and healthconditions: whether they are physically capable, emotionally healthy, the level of education and beingfinancially independent and if they have support from their children.5.3 Determine: Decide how to attempt a solution We defined the criteria that the final solution must be able to fulfill. The solution must be able tochange the long existed institutional belief and social stigma about the elderly. The society must acceptthem so that they can contribute to the society and country, and that they are not burden.Since this isan issue requires social reengineering, we must design a solution that will be supported by policymakers including government, non-governmental organizations (NGO) to recognize this as a countrywide activity. The solution must include strategy to encourage public awareness and acceptance.Also,the solution must not be too high in cost so that it is affordable by the elderly citizens within theirsavings from Employee Provident Fund (EPF).It must not be a solution that will take more than 10 to 20years to build.
  • 9. 9 The Ingenuity Creative Problem Solving Process6. Phase Two: Discovery6.1 Define: Prepare to find solution The team had problem putting the analysis into a problem statement. The process requiresconvergent thinking and as Thompson said, team can do this better than individual. In our case, it wasBilly, the A thinker who had derived the final problem statement, which everyone agreed although wehave problem composing it earlier.One factoris that the majority of the members in the team are Dthinkers andthey tend to reiterate the findings in Phase One to ensure the team is moving towards thesame vision. The final problem statement was, “Senior citizens are currently lack of channel or having noaccess to healthcare information, withoutparticipating in social network activities, any form of societygive back contributions and information on financial services. This group of people is being left out bythe society, lonely at home and without proper health treatment and eventually affects their healthconditions.”6.2 Discover: Generate multiple solutions We were using the classic brainstorming method – verbal brainstorm developed by Alex Osbornto gain as many business ideas as we can. The strength of brainstorming as a team is that ideas from onemember would often stimulate more ideas from others.Ideas were written on whiteboard and teamfocused on the same screen to ensure we are all at the same conversation. “Find Me A Lazy Job” is about getting a job for those who had retired but still capable of workingand it should be an easy job so that it will not be stressful.Setting up an organic restaurant which will berun by the senior citizens based on the organic products produced by another group of citizens. Thereare wild ideas such as organizing party; karaoke and setting up a ‘nightclub’ only for the senior citizensare based on what we know every young generation would like to do.Idea about speed-dating or match-making of the elderly was an attempt to answer the question on why the elderly feel lonely and whatthey could do if there are still young.
  • 10. 10 The Ingenuity Creative Problem Solving Process In this process, it is very important that team members must be able to communicate freely, nobias, no inactive participations, and no feeling of inferior due to language barrier or perception thatmembers with more working experience will have better ideas.There shouldn’t be any member who willtry to convince another member of an idea by means of influence.6.3 Determine: Realistic concepts begin to emerge At the end of the generating ideas phase, we had a total of 24 ideas. Team went through each ofthe ideas and sorts those that have the same concept.
  • 11. 11 The Ingenuity Creative Problem Solving Process7. Phase Three: Determination7.1 Define: Select and engineer potential solutions Based on the ideas generated, we sort and siftideas into categories, i.e. devices,communications, activities, job or re-employment and support services. Most of the ideas can be fittedinto more than one category.The final selected ideas are: - One stop solution in a community based retirement village - Mobile clinic that can provide healthcare services plus devices for daily health-monitoring7.2 Discover: Investigating the alternatives; finding the best solution We agreed that the solution of a mobile clinic has resources issues in term of budget. We alsocompare the alternatives that market currently already hasincludingold folks home, and premium healthcare services. We analyse the problems with these services, and what are the potential bottlenecks insuch businesses. The next process was to choose the optimal solution. In this case, the final selected idea was theone stop solution in a community based retirement village with additional comprehensive services suchas healthcare services, job re-employments, and other activities in-village.We have use the WIN2evaluation tool to access the idea about. Although WIN2rates as cautious and limited development butwe believe the business potential is high. See Appendix 1.7.3 Determine: Looking to the future The final solution is within expectation. We foresee the barriers to acceptance from the societybecause sending elderly to old folk’s home or nursing home had been a long existed social stigma. Toovercome this, the business will have to convince policy makers to change the society perception aboutageing population. We target to sell the business idea to investor to build the retirement village on a build, leaseand transfer term, in which if the solution didn’t work out, it can be transformed into housingdevelopment.Our goal is for the business to be able to generate good return of investment for investorsand predicts it would be able toself-sustain financially by 2035.
  • 12. 12 The Ingenuity Creative Problem Solving Process8. Conclusions The Ingenuity guide for clear thinking focuses on the creative thinking and problem skills neededto succeed in our rapidly changing, high tech world.The nature of the Ingenuity approach based ondivergent and convergent thinking can highly produces ideas that lands in the Creative Realism quadrantfrom Thompson.And this is part of the entrepreneurial thinking thatempowers us to cope withuncertainty and behave with greater flexibility.9. Implications One of the challenges is that the team tends to jump to the final solution at the problemdefinition stage.This can be done better by asking more open-ended questions or assesses moreopposing scenarios of the answers given thus encouraging divergent thinking.According to Thompson(2003), once we are exposed to divergent thinking, we can prevent people from jumping to the mostobvious (and most often the most expensive) solution. Towards the end of the of the course work, the team had presented the idea as a business planand as we spent more time to research and find references for implementation, we agreed that the ideacould be more creative. One implication here is that if the same team were to repeat the Ingenuityprocesses, the result would be much better since the developed bond within the team would improvethe environment for creativity. Thompson (2003)pointed the paradox that teams excel at convergent thinking but individualsexcel at divergent thinking and this is paradoxical because most people strongly believe that teams aremore creative than individuals, when in fact they aren’t. As per Thompson (2003), if team excels at convergent thinking, perhaps the Discovery Phase togenerate a lot of ideas would be more effective if done individually since individual are better atdivergent thinking leading more ‘Out of the box” ideas. However, team brainstorming isappropriate forconvergent thinking at the Determine phase to evaluate ideas.
  • 13. 13 The Ingenuity Creative Problem Solving ProcessAppendix
  • 14. 14 The Ingenuity Creative Problem Solving ProcessReferences 1) Bruce R. Barringer and Duane R. Ireland (2006), Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures, Pearson Prentice Hall, Pearson Education Inc. 2) HBDI, “Overview Of The HBDI®”, Downloaded from http://www.hbdi.com/WholeBrainProductsAndServices/thehbdi.cfm as at 10th April 2012. 3) Kirkham P, Mosey S, Binks M (2009), “Ingenuity in Practice: A Guidefor Clear Thinking”, UNIEI. 4) Lumsdaine, E. and Blinks, M, (2007). Entrepreneurship, from Creativity to Innovation; Effective Thinking Skills for a Changing World. Trafford Publishing. 5) Thompson L. (2003), Improving the creativity of organizational work groups. Academy of Management Executive. 6) World Health Organization (2010), “Senior Citizens and Population Ageing in Malaysia, Department of Statistics, 1998”. Downloaded fromhttp://www.who.int/countries/mys/eng