Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How to Apply Creativity to Frame and Solve the Right problem?

The point is, framing the right problem is equally or even more important than solving it.

If the very purpose of business is to create customers, then, the big challenge for business’s survival and blossom is how to solve business problems systematically and skillfully. More critically, how to apply creativity to frame the right problem and solve it right is a fundamental capability to grow as a Digital Master?

The problem seems to be that a lot of the time the problem definition process is not implemented. Or there are several, even many processes suggested for defining problems. However the simplest way appears to be to identify the etymology of the word which suggests a “hidden barrier ahead.” Framing the right question more often needs to step back, or get out of the box, in order to look at the problem from the different angle or understand the issues holistically via multi-disciplinary lenses, not get inundated with too many details. Hence, the problem-defining process needs to be not too rigid, but a robust and creative process to embrace emergent factor and welcome agile critical thinking.

Unless there is a problem there is no creativity. Any problem is the right problem if there is an attempt to find a solution. It becomes about addressing the correct need and perhaps the problem becomes how to identify the need at the right level, continue to ask 'Why is that a problem?' at each successive stage. Perhaps the underlying issue is one of understanding the application of creativity rather than the identification of a situation that demands a specific solution. Sometimes lack of creativity becomes the problem after many people refused to deal with it for various reasons, and ignored it until it becomes a problem and later, the bigger problem, and the harder problem; the even hard problem to avoid the problem, the business survival problem or the career breaker problem.

Creative and methodical solvers exhibited different activity in areas of the brain that process visual information. The patterns of “alpha” and “beta” brainwaves in creative solvers were consistent with diffuse rather than focused visual attention. This may allow creative individuals to broadly sample the environment for experiences that can trigger remote associations to produce an Aha! moment… In addition to contributing to current knowledge about the neural basis of creativity, this study suggests the possible development of new brain imaging techniques for assessing potential for creative thought, and for assessing the effectiveness of methods for training individuals to think creatively. - Drexel University Source:

There is as much creative thinking that goes into problem identification as solution finding. Having brainstorm helps problem identification to avoid “worrying about the wrong thing” symptom. One of the problems with brainstorming in an organizational context is that everyone thinks it is easy! Ideally, it is that a competent facilitator brought in at the right point will spend as much effort on 'problem identification' as they will do in solution finding. In reality, the Board has often decided they know what the problem is and then you end up with the situation you have identified..always encourage critical and creative thinking (agile critical thinking) at every level of your company.

The point is, framing the right problem is equally or even more important than solving it; it is important to applying the creativity in a recursive way to the creative process for both problem identification and problem-solving, also learning from other’s failures, and break down the large problem into the small problems, in order to solve them in iterative and creative way.

Digitalization is like a flywheel, and Digital Masters are the one riding above it. Surf more Information about Digital Master:


This article is very valuable and specific explanation, I like it!
Thank you for sharing a great article.
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