Use A Creative Way To Solve Problems

iStock_000000520734Small We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations”

                                                                                                ~Charles R. Swindol

If it is not today or tomorrow, you can pretty much guarantee that the day after you will be faced with some sort of problem either at home or work.  Good practice management is realizing problems can be a daily challenge and you should always be ready to jump in to solve issues as a team as soon as they come up.

“Such is life” is what my grandfather use to say when problems would arise.  Now my grandfather had been through some tough times coming to America as an immigrant and dealing with the struggles that came with it.  But as his grandchildren were growing up he would always smile and laugh when problems came up and then he would start coming up with ideas to remedy the problem.

Since we all know that there is no getting away from problems and difficult situations maybe we should try to do as my grandfather did to take care of the situation at hand.  What my grandfather was doing, was what we call today “creative thinking”, he would talk out loud about the many different possibilities of fixing the problem and what the outcome might be.  Creative thinking is the ability to imagine or invent something new or coming up with new ideas by changing existing ones or merging a few ideas together.

When you do this with others in your family or co-workers you are expanding the limits of what possibilities there are to solve the issue.  Not only is this great but it can be exhilarating when you see what you have come up with.  Here are the four basic steps to creative problem solving;

1. The first is being able to define what the problem is so that everyone understands it or if it is just you, that you really know what the problem is.

2. The next step is to come up with as many solutions as you (and others) can think of.  Write them down and don’t try to analyze them yet, just get the ideas out and down on paper.

3. Once this is done then you can go through them keeping the ones that may be possibilities or possibly even a combination of a couple of them.

4. Lastly you need to make a choice of what solution makes the best sense to resolving the problem and take action on it.

Creative thinking does take practice, but the more you do it the better you will get and easier it will be.  The sky is the limit to what you can come up with to help you make decisions about those “great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations”



3 thoughts on “Use A Creative Way To Solve Problems

  1. I think that a lot of folks get tripped up on step one. We want to treat symptoms rather that identify the problem. It is also important to open to others suggestions. Most times the best ideas are not my own. Great post.

    • You are so correct, sometimes a bandaid seems like the easier fix, but in the long run we know this just isn’t so. We are making the problem worse and then the fix usually becomes a bit more complicated. Thank you for the comment.

  2. Our assumptions are the situation is a problem to be fixed. From this perspective, we focus on what’s wrong or missing and tend to see everything through that filter.

    An alternative is appreciating what’s working and visualizing and creating what will be. Let’s say customer service has lots of complaints. Ask the team, “Describe a time when someone went the extra mile in delivering exemplary customer service. What pieces were in place to make this happen?” Rapidly list the responses. Then, take these statements to describe the ideal future. Be bold and provocative.

    This one degree difference gives a fresh perspective.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.