6 Steps to Cre8ive Problem Solving

Creativity really is simple as 1, 2, 3 (and 4, 5, 6). It is a common misperception that you have to be born creative or a real maverick in order to think creatively. Creativity is a process and rule followers are generally more successful in creativity sessions.

Marketing guru Alex Osborn, who coined the term "Brainstorming", together with Dr Sid Parnes, developed the creative problem solving model: the 6 Steps to cre8ive problem solving. Here they are:

  1. Objective Finding (or Mess Finding): Sensitise yourself to issues that need to be tackled.
  2. Fact Finding: Gather information about the problem.
  3. Problem Finding: Convert a fuzzy statement of the problem into a broad statement more suited to idea finding.
  4. Idea Finding: Generate as many ideas as possible.
  5. Solution Finding: Generate and select an evaluation criteria and develop the short-listed ideas from Idea Finding.
  6. Acceptance Finding: How can the suggestion you have just selected be put into practice?
I was lucky to meet Syd and his wife Bea at the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) conference in St Paul, Minnesota, a couple of years ago. Now in its 54th year, CPSI is a great training ground for anyone wanting to learn the fundamentals of creativity.

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