Creative Problem Solving Tools

Problem solving models are used to address the many challenges that arise in the workplace.While many people regularly solve problems, there are a range of different approaches that can be used to find a solution.The answer is not just creativity, although that certainly helps.

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Complex challenges for teams, working groups and boards etc., are usually solved more quickly by using a shared, collaborative, and systematic approach to problem solving.

The Six-Step method provides a focused procedure for the problem solving (PS) group.

Effective groups designate feedback mechanisms to detect if the project is going off course.

They also ensure the project is not introducing new problems.

Step One is about diagnosing the problem – the context, background and symptoms of the issue.

Once the group has a clear grasp of what the problem is, they investigate the wider symptoms to discover the implications of the problem, who it affects, and how urgent/important it is to resolve the symptoms.Why does some people find it easy to solve tough problems with simple solutions, while others find this feat nearly impossible?You’ve no doubt looked at solutions to problems and said, “I should have thought of that” but you didn’t.The project implementation now needs to be monitored by the group to ensure their recommendations are followed.Monitoring includes checking: Many working groups skip Step Six as they believe that the project itself will cover the issues above, but this often results in the desired outcome not being achieved.Analytical, creative problem solving is about creating a variety of solutions, not just one.Often the most obvious answer is not the most effective solution to the problem.As an individual, your facts and knowledge can only go so far.By tapping into the knowledge of others (staff, colleagues, family, or friends), you can expand the range of solutions available to you.For example, once the real problem is identified – using “2.Determine the Root Cause(s) of the Problem”, the group may return to the first step to redefine the problem. The goal is not to solve but to evolve, adjusting the solution continually as new challenges emerge, through repeating the Six Step Process.

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