Monday, January 23, 2017

Closing Creativity Gaps in Problem-Solving

The lack of in-depth problem-solvers is a significant problem for the world.

The business world becomes overcomplex and hyperconnected, problem-solving also turns to be increasingly challenging. Many think the lack of in-depth problem-solvers is a significant problem for the world. Problem-solving is not just about fixing the things, it is also important to remove the potential obstacles on the way or prevent the risks from the serious problems happening. Problem-solving is a mindset with curiosity, self-inclusiveness, creativity and progression. Creativity is about connecting the dots. Unless there is a problem there is no creativity. But how to close creativity gaps in problem-solving?


Identify the real problem via inquiries: 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. Observing, questioning, connecting, networking are the key steps in creativity. Creative people ask questions, usually, they ask open questions or questions no one else would think of, with the goal to identify blind spots or mind gaps, in order to identify the issues behind the scenes. Perhaps the underlying issue is one of understanding the application of creativity rather than the identification of a situation that demands a specific solution. The problems become more complicated in this over-complex world. 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 huge problem to avoid the problem, the business survival problem or the career breaker problem.


Recognize and develop your creative problem-solvers: Creative people are both problem finders and problem solvers. Being in the state of flow is what all creative people would like to achieve because it is the most productive state, and always challenge your own thinking by asking questions which often lead to discovering situations others do not see at first. From talent management perspective, you need creative problem-solvers, innovators and those who can connect the unusual dots, see through the issues, look around and beneath the corner, and work smarter. The success of any problem-solving must include the welfare of the principals - employees. Involve your users by giving them active roles on the project, make them feel important, appreciate and reward them, and then, the challenges to solve difficult problems can be overcome, the real issues can be solved, not just the symptoms. Companies have to make a tough decision to increase their bottom line, but they must do so by first investing in their employees so that they are able to unleash their own potential as well as maximize the business potential for the long run.


Apply creativity in a recursive way for problem-solving: 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,  Find the possible solution alternatives to be adopted. And study the choices and select the best possible implementable alternative. For those who are trying to solve problems, they may find the problems evolving as they try different solutions. But via such experimentation and continuous discovery, they deepen their understanding of the issues, accumulate interdisciplinary knowledge or unique insight for figuring out optimal solutions. Also, learn from others’ failures, and break down the large problem into the small problems, in order to solve them in an iterative and creative way.


Creativity is expressive, productive, inventive, innovative and emergent. Creativity needs a problem. Creative minds have the ability to reframe the circumstances or conditions around a problem and solve it creatively. People who can solve problems in a new way are innovators with creative wisdom. From people management perspective to mind the creativity gaps in problem-solving, it’s about how to build a creative working environment to encourage people stepping out of the “comfort zone” with the “We always do things like that,” mentality, and develop the best and next practices for mastering problem-solving and overcoming business challenges.


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