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Creative Problem Solving Techniques


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Creative Problem Solving Techniques

  1. 1. Creative Problem Solving <ul><li>EUREKA! </li></ul>
  2. 2. Recent research indicates that only 5% of adults over the age of 20 years consider themselves to be ‘creative’. Between the ages of 5 and 10 years 95% of children exhibit a strong tendency towards creativity. So what happens between the ages of 10 and 20 to stifle this aspect of our mental processes? <ul><li>ideas </li></ul>
  3. 3. Do any of the following sound familiar: <ul><li>“ Don’t ask foolish questions”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Stop daydreaming”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ You’re too old to be playing games”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ If you have nothing sensible to say, don’t say anything”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ If it’s not broken it doesn’t need fixing”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Don’t re-invent the wheel”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ That’s not how it’s done”- </li></ul><ul><li>“ Jack of all trades, master of none”. </li></ul>
  4. 4. From the ages of 10 to 18 education tends to concentrate on the absorption of information and on the development of memory skills. Imagination is often stifled in order to improve concentration skills. In effect we learn to ‘blinker’ ourselves.  If the previous statements seem familiar, think again about each of them for a moment. How valid are these statements ? <ul><li>intelligence </li></ul>
  5. 5. Isn’t it time to remove those blinkers? How Creative are you? <ul><li>Are you a curious person? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you challenge things? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you an opportunist? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you spot trends? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you a risk taker? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you intuitive? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you an adaptor? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you see or predict things before others? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you resourceful? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have confidence in your ideas? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Blocks to creativity. <ul><li>Negative attitude. </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of failure. </li></ul><ul><li>The logic trap. </li></ul><ul><li>Following the rules. </li></ul><ul><li>Assumptions and stereotypes. </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of appearing stupid. </li></ul><ul><li>Having a closed mind or attitude. </li></ul><ul><li>Believing “I’m not creative”. </li></ul>
  7. 7. HINDERS <ul><li>Looking for the right answer. </li></ul><ul><li>Approach problem solving as a serious business . </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid mistakes as far as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>If you’re stuck try harder. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask advice from “experts”. </li></ul><ul><li>Dismiss your silly ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss ideas only with people who will are likely to agree with you. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep quiet when you don’t understand something. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow the motto “if it isn’t broken it doesn’t need mending”. </li></ul><ul><li>Have no recording system for ideas that come to you. </li></ul>
  8. 8. HELPS Looking for possible right answers Enjoy problem solving play with ideas Accept mistakes as a normal part of the creative process. If you’re stuck take a break. Seek information from a variety of sources. Use your sense of humour . Get someone to act as Devils Advocate. Risk asking stupid questions. Continually look for new ways to improve existing products/ services/ systems. Keep an Ideas Notebook .
  9. 9. Generating Ideas Use Lateral thinking. - Try to connect seemingly disconnected ideas. Quantity rather than Quality. Suspend judgement. Write down your ideas. <ul><li>ideas </li></ul>
  10. 10. Exercise 1. MIND MAPPING / VISUAL THINKING. A useful method of stimulating creativity and recording ideas.(your plane hijacked) <ul><li>1. Write down the central idea in the middle of a large piece of paper. </li></ul><ul><li>2. From this central point begin exploring thoughts. (Write down everything you can) </li></ul><ul><li>3. If you get stuck take one of those thoughts and try to explore it further. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Try to link up connected ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>5. give yourself about seven minutes to write down everything you can think of. </li></ul><ul><li>6. Include seemingly foolish ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>7. At the end highlight the actions you need to take or ideas you want to mind map  further. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Exercise 2. SIX PROMPT QUESTIONS Pick an existing Product or service concept (e.g. Cleaning) <ul><li>WHO?  Who might use it? </li></ul><ul><li>WHAT? What might it be used on or with? (e.g. Cars, high ceilings, light fittings.) </li></ul><ul><li>WHY?  Why would people use the product service? </li></ul><ul><li>WHERE? Where might it be of use? </li></ul><ul><li>WHEN? When might it be used? (e.g. After moving house, spring cleaning) </li></ul><ul><li>HOW?  How might it be supplied? (e.g. use ecological cleaning products, safety). </li></ul><ul><li>use the six prompt questions to develop a mind map around an idea </li></ul>
  12. 12. Exercise 3. FORCED CONNECTIONS(kite-flying &washing powder) Put together two concepts which have nothing in common. Try to force a connection between the two. This method is much used by advertisers and product development companies. Exercise 4. ATTRIBUTE TESTING Used when adapting or developing an existing product. Consider the product  under the following headings. Consider possible alternatives: Materials,Colour,Size,Shape,Functions
  13. 13. Exercise 6. Brainstorming <ul><li> There are great benefits in working with others in helping you to generate ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorming developed by Alex Osborne. </li></ul><ul><li>Basic Steps: 1. Define a problem / concern / need / resource. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Form a group of 4 or so. Nominate one person to write down ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>3. All ideas must be accepted with no evaluation or comment. </li></ul><ul><li>4. The crazier the idea the better. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Listen to others and build on their ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>6. Have fun, but stay focused on the main problem. ( No more than 5 mnts. At a time) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Keeping your eyes open. <ul><li>Watch People. What do they do? Why do they do it? </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to people? Involve them in your search for ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask them if: </li></ul><ul><li>they can think of any service / product they need or want. </li></ul><ul><li>there is anything that currently irritates or dissatisfies them. </li></ul><ul><li>they have ideas you could use. </li></ul><ul><li>there are products they would like but can’t get. </li></ul><ul><li>there are products / services they have seen abroad but can’t get here. </li></ul><ul><li>there are products / services available here but not abroad. </li></ul><ul><li>If you have family or friends living abroad ask them to send you local newspapers. magazines. </li></ul><ul><li>Look out for people with special needs, interests, hobbies.   </li></ul>
  15. 15. PLACES <ul><li>If you travel abroad or away from your locality look out for: </li></ul><ul><li>What people eat and drink. </li></ul><ul><li>What people wear. </li></ul><ul><li>What products are stocked in supermarkets. </li></ul><ul><li>Any different or exciting shops, restaurants, leisure or entertainment facilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Any difference in peoples lifestyles. </li></ul><ul><li>Any new service ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>Magazines, newspapers, directories. Anything different. </li></ul><ul><li>Look up local trade directories for unusual products / services. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for products services which are NOT available. </li></ul>
  16. 16. PUBLICATIONS <ul><li>Read or browse everything you can get hold of: Newspapers, magazines, books directories, catalogues, small ads etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for : </li></ul><ul><li>Articles featuring peoples complaints about products / services. </li></ul><ul><li>Advertisements. </li></ul><ul><li>Advance notice of events, construction projects, changes in the law. </li></ul><ul><li>Browse foreign magazines and publications. </li></ul><ul><li>Successful franchises. </li></ul>
  17. 17. TRENDS <ul><li>Look out for things changing. If you notice a new business which seems to be creating a lot of interest do a MIND MAP around this business idea. See if you can spot related businesses which follow a similar trend. If you hear of a new business developing in an unusual market, ask yourself what their service and product needs are. </li></ul>
  18. 18. BREAK OUT OF OLD ROUTINES. <ul><li>Breaking from your normal routine can help you too see familiar things in a fresh light. </li></ul><ul><li>  Break your travel routines. (Learn to take note of the things you see on the way). </li></ul><ul><li>  Break your reading routine. (Business and Trade Magazines in particular). </li></ul><ul><li>  Break your watching routine. (Programmes you wouldn’t normally watch, foreign stations etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>  Break your listening routine. (as above.) </li></ul><ul><li>  Break your “Living” routines. (Where you shop, eat, entertainment, exercise etc.) </li></ul>