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Creative Problem Solving

“Thank you for calling the Creative Business Seminars.... If you would like to become more creative ............Press 1 without touching your handset!”

A cartoon by Randy Glasbergen caught my eye this weekend and it got me thinking – just what makes one person more creative in solving problems than another? Are there techniques that can be used by normally non-creative people (such as myself) to make them more creative?

After all, businesses are always talking about being more creative: 10 new Creative marketing strategies, 7 Creative selling techniques to name a few that do the rounds. (By the way- just for the record - Small Fish does not endorse creative tax minimising strategies in case you were thinking that).

Anyway, it seems being creative isn’t just about finding creative solutions to problems. It seems there’s more to it than that, like for instance starting off by understanding the problem in different ways.

I heard it once said...pretend the problem is a jigsaw puzzle. Now break it up and turn over the pieces in your hands. Look at them again and again...what do you see? Straight edges, corners, middle pieces?? Reds together, greens and blues...I’m sure you get the idea. By looking at the problem from different angles you discover unique solutions from a different perspective.

Another writer suggested using creative “jamming”, like a jazz group. Jamming entails giving the problem to a group of people and getting them to give it a good “working over”. Pass it around, tear it apart, put it back together, and turn it over again and so on. The group often sees more than the individual.

Another way is to “tell a stranger” ... This entails describing the facts and situation to someone not related to the problem. Get them to explore the problem with you and get them to ask you questions. By verbalising the problem, putting it in your own words, you are more likely to view the problem differently, and this opens up creative solutions.

So there you have it – if you have a business problem you’ve been struggling with, GET CREATIVE with it....and of course you could always get your business coach to help you.

Steve Eastwood
Small Fish Business Coaching Melbourne
www.smallfish.com.au



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