Most of the things that we take for granted today can be attributed to someone else's creativity and innovation. Not too long ago, people couldn't have deemed it possible they would be able to use their phone for browsing the internet whenever they want. Who would have thought that you could converse with people living many miles away from you face to face using a phone? Or that traveling long distance would become so feasible?

All this became possible because someone decided to use his creativity in the best possible way. As the former chairman of Tata Group, Ratan Tata famously said,

"Take the stones people throw at you and use them to build a monument."

Whenever you are backed into a corner, it's time to use your creativity in problem-solving and push the boundary like never before. What exactly does creative problem-solving entail?

Creative problem solving refers to the way of taking a break from conventional thinking and solving issues via a fresh approach. Using creativity in problem-solving encourages you to gain a new perspective and think outside the box. It teaches you to come up with innovative solutions.

With the help of this creative process, you can overcome and even benefit from hurdles that come your way.

"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations."- Charles R. Swindoll

The Importance Of Creativity For Innovation And More

As an entrepreneur you will find obstacles and challenges at every corner. While you are able to overcome some of them pretty easily, others pose a much bigger problem. At times like this, conventional approaches fail. It becomes imperative to use your creative thinking to come up with innovative ideas that will enable you to get ahead.

Creativity in problem-solving teaches you that if you find a fallen tree in the middle of a road, you don't change your path. Instead, you look for ways to remove this tree for good. Why? Because it not only helps you, but helps all the following travelers as well. As Albert Einstein said,

“To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.”

The Principles of Problem Solving

While using your problem-solving creativity, you will think of many potential solutions to a problem. Once you have brainstormed the ideas, you will weigh your options and select the one that seems most promising. If you really want to use creativity in problem-solving, there are four core principles that should always be in your mind.

  • Strike a balance between divergent and convergent thinking and realize the place for each approach
  • Think of problems as open-ended questions having a variety of responses
  • Weigh each option with careful consideration, but only after you are done with brainstorming
  • Encourage expansion of thoughts at every step of creative thinking.

The process of using creativity in problem-solving isn't really complicated if you know how to go about it. It primarily comprises four stages.

  1. Identifying the problem
  2. Brainstorming for ideas that can solve the problem
  3. Analyzing the ideas to decide on the best issue
  4. Execute your plan and move ahead

The creative problem-solving process not only encourages you to come up with innovative ideas but also brings team members together on the same page. Indeed, if you want everyone in the team to feel involved, using creative problem-solving can be an excellent choice.

"Learn to use your brain power. Critical thinking is the key to creative problem solving in business." - Richard Branson

Steps Involved In Implementing Creativity For Innovation

"Creativity can solve almost any problem. The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything." - George Lois

We have already discussed the main stages of using creativity in problem-solving. But there's a lot more to it. How can we go about working through every step? Let's find out!

Identifying The Problem

This is where it all begins. What will cause you to look for solutions if no problem exists? To get started with the creativity process, you first have to determine what your goal is. Furthermore, you have to clearly identify what your problem is, and who it affects.

Ask yourself or a trusted friend a series of questions that will help you gain some clarity about the challenge you are facing. A large process of using your creativity in problem-solving is doing proper market research. Figure out why the problem has been troubling you and how solving it would take you closer to your goal.

Gather More Information

So now you have identified the underlying problem. It's time for research to understand the issue in the best possible way. Some challenges require you to research extensively while others, not so much.

Your goal should be to gather as much information as possible about the issue at hand. Use the internet, libraries, and other people you know in life. Discuss it with your friends and colleagues. Seek out the assistance of an expert who wouldn't hesitate to share his knowledge with you.

Reflect On The Problems Creatively

Once you have identified the issue and have all the information at hand, you have to view them as creative challenges. This will enable you to brainstorm ideas effectively.

Creativity is found in problem-solving when you frame the problem as a simple question that will encourage you to seek suggestions or ideas. Try to keep it simple and concise. Looking for solutions shouldn't be a challenge. Focus on generating ideas to one challenge at a time. If your core problem comprises more than one obstacle, tackle them separately. You can then develop a logical approach that will enable you to solve both issues in coordination.

Keep in mind that the creativity process shouldn't be limited via evaluation. By judging the problem based on criteria, you limit your thinking. Your first goal should be to think of as many ideas as possible and determine which one would be most suitable.

Brainstorm For Ideas

This is easily one of the most crucial stages when it comes to unlocking your creativity in your problem-solving efforts. It's time for idea generation. As discussed, tackle only one creative challenge at a time.

Reflect on the problem from every possible perspective and endeavor to develop at least 50 ideas that can possibly solve the challenge. Also, remember these ideas can be utterly ridiculous. The point of this exercise is to find trends when it comes to tackling this particular problem. Once you are able to notice the trends, you can then logically approach a solution. You can also get some friends or family to help you out with this.

Note down all your ideas on a piece of paper in the form of a listing, mind map, or any other way that you deem fit.

Ensure that you write every idea that comes to your mind, irrespective of how outlandish it appears to be. Don't stop your creative thinking until you have at least come up with 50 or more ideas.

Evaluate And Weigh All Your Options

Take a break after you have written all your ideas. Then, you can start going through the ideas. Categorize your thoughts and focus on the ones that you deem best.

Go through every idea carefully and rate them according to your understanding. Think of an idea that can be improved. Assign an evaluation score to every concept. The highest-scoring ones will be the ones most likely to take you closer to your goal.

Develop An Action Plan

Now you have a set of ideas to work on. It's time to implement these ideas to solve the issues at hand. A lot of people stop here... And that's because creativity in innovation requires you to take risks. And not everyone is willing to push the boundaries.

As an entrepreneur, your creativity used in problem-solving should not stop once you've found a solution. Creativity must be used throughout the entire process until that solution is brought to life!

To make the journey easier, develop an action plan comprising simple steps that will help implement your ideas. Breaking the idea into smaller steps will increase your motivation.

Get Down To Work

And finally, you have to start implementing your action plan. If everything is clear in front of you, this will make everything appear pretty simple.

Keep one thing in mind. Don't hesitate to tweak your action plan a bit if the situation demands it.

How To Boost Your Creative Problem-Solving Skills

It's easy to be swayed by our comfort zones and not think out of the box. Why force yourself to face a challenge when you can easily look away? This mindset limits your scope of success.

“Being receptive, being able to listen openly and well, is a crucial skill for creative problem-solving.”

"Being receptive, being able to listen openly and well, is a crucial skill for creative problem-solving." - Paul A. Kaufman

If you are worried that your creative problem skills aren't up to the mark, here are some tips to help you out.

  • Take it one step at a time. Work strategically and gather as much information about the issue as possible and then develop a solution.
  • Try to look at a situation from another's perspective. Empathizing with others enables you to gain new viewpoints. You will then be inclined to come up with solutions beneficial for all concerned.
  • Indulge yourself in a hobby in your free time that encourages you to use your brain differently than usual. This will not only enhance your creativity but also prove to be an excellent stress buster.
  • Avoid making assumptions based on your past experiences and try to approach every matter innovatively.
  • Be persistent and resilient in your approach. Don't let your focus slip away. Have patience and deal with every obstacle with a positive attitude.
  • Don't hesitate to ask questions. Try to think of ways of solving a problem that haven't been tried before.
  • Use your experience to determine when it's time to change focus or continue to work on something persistently.
  • Polish your skills and attempt to acquire more knowledge to become an expert in your field.
  • Practice solving every problem via the creative process.
  • Don't hesitate to ask for help when needed.

Use Creativity For Innovation To Succeed!

Those who fail to utilize their creative side to its full potential seldom succeed in life. People who go on to become famous in their fields are the ones who pushed the boundaries and didn't limit their thought process as per conventional standards. You, too, can become a success story by using creativity in problem-solving in the best way possible! Remember,

"A problems is a chance for you to do your best."- Duke Ellington

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