CREATIVE
PROBLEM SOLVING
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CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
Introductions
Purpose
Learning Objectives
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CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
PURPOSE:
To develop the awareness and the
skills necessary to solve problems
creatively.
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LEARNING OBJECTIVES
1. Define creative problem solving.
2. Be familiar with common mental blocks to creative
thinking process.
3. Explore ways to be more creative.
4. Know the steps to the creative problem solving
process.
5. Be familiar with: Brainstorming,
Mind mapping and Multivoting
6. Apply tools to solve a problem.
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Workshop Outline
A. What is creative problem solving?
B. Why don’t we think creatively more
often?
C. How can we be more creative?
D. What is the creative problem solving
process?
E. What are some other specific creative
problem solving tools and techniques?
F. Application of learning.
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CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
What is creative
problem solving?
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Some Additional Thoughts
 The creative person uses information to form new
ideas.
 The real key to creative problem solving is what you
do with the knowledge.
 Creative problem solving requires an attitude that
allows you to search for new ideas and use your
knowledge and experience.
 Change perspective and use knowledge to make the
ordinary extraordinary and the usual commonplace.
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DEFINITION
Creative problem solving is -
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DEFINITION
“Creative problem solving is - looking
at the same thing as everyone else and
thinking something different.”
Adapted from a famous quote from a former
Nobel prize winner, Albert Szent-Gyorgi.
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EXERCISE
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A SOLUTION
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LET’S TALK ABOUT:
 Why don’t we think creatively more often?
 What are the barriers that get in our way?
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BARRIERS THAT GET IN OUR WAY
 Time
 Why change?
 Usually don’t need to be creative
 Habit
 Routine
 Haven’t been taught to be creative
What are some other barriers that get in our way?
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MENTAL BLOCKS
Mental blocks are
reasons (attitudes)
why we don’t
“think something
different.”
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MENTAL BLOCKS
1. The _______ answer.
2. That’s not _________.
3. __________ the rules.
4. Be ______________.
5. ________ is frivolous.
6. That’s not my _____.
7. ________ ambiguity.
8. Don’t be _________.
9. __________is wrong.
10. I’m not __________.
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MENTAL BLOCK # 1
1. The right answer.
Only one?
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MENTAL BLOCK # 2
1. The right answer.
2. That’s not logical.
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MENTAL BLOCK # 3
1. The right answer.
2. That’s not logical.
3. Follow the rules.
Why rules should be
challenged:
1. We make rules based
on reasons that make a lot
of sense.
2. We follow these rules.
3. Time passes, and
things change.
4. The original reasons
for the generation of these
rules may no longer exist,
but because the rules are
still in place, we continue
to follow them.
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MENTAL BLOCK # 4
1. The right answer.
2. That’s not logical.
3. Follow the rules.
4. Be practical.
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MENTAL BLOCK # 5
1.
2.
3.
4.
The right answer.
That’s not logical.
Follow the rules.
Be practical.
5. Play is frivolous.
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“When do
you get
your best
ideas?”
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MENTAL BLOCK # 6
6. That’s not my area.
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MENTAL BLOCK # 7
6. That’s not my area.
7. Avoid ambiguity.
AMBIGUITY
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MENTAL BLOCK # 8
6. That’s not my area.
7. Avoid ambiguity.
8. Don’t be foolish.
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MENTAL BLOCK # 9
6. That’s not my area.
7. Avoid ambiguity.
8. Don’t be foolish.
9. To err is wrong.
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MENTAL BLOCK # 10
6.
7.
8.
9.
That’s not my area.
Avoid ambiguity.
Don’t be foolish.
To err is wrong.
10.I’m not creative.
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BEING MORE CREATIVE
How can we be more creative?
Jot down at least 3 ideas that come to
your mind.
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Golden Rules of Creative Thinking
1. Start small trying to discover new ways to be
creative, ___________.
2. __________ to abandon the old, obsolete ways
of doing things and explore new ways.
3. It is not possible to change the way we think
about everything. ________ in which to try
creative thinking techniques.
4. Understand that creative thinking requires
__________, but it is worth it!
5. Remember that creative thinking is both _______
and__________!!!
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Golden Rules of Creative Thinking
(Continued)
6. _________ on what you can reasonably do.
Trying to do too many things at once
compromises the effort and may take away from
the results.
7. _________creative thinking for today as well as
tomorrow.
8. Include other people in the creative thinking
process with you. __________fosters creative
thinking.
9. Include _______ and ______ in your creative
thinking process as well as ___________.
10. Keep ________________.
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CREATIVE PROBLEM
SOLVING PROCESS
STEP 1. State what appears to be
the problem.
The real problem may not surface until facts
have been gathered and analyzed.
Therefore, start with what you assume to be
the problem, that can later be confirmed or
corrected.
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CREATIVE PROBLEM
SOLVING PROCESS
STEP 2. Gather facts, feelings
and opinions.







What happened?
Where, when and how did it occur?
What is it’s size, scope, and severity?
Who and what is affected?
Likely to happen again?
Need to be corrected?
May need to assign priorities to critical
elements.
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CREATIVE PROBLEM
SOLVING PROCESS
STEP 3. Restate the problem.
The real facts help make this possible,
and provide supporting data.
The actual problem may, or may not
be the same as stated in Step 1.
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CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS
STEP 4. Identify
alternative solutions.
Generate ideas. Do not
eliminate any possible
solutions until several
have been discussed.
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CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS
STEP 5. Evaluate alternatives.
 Which will provide the optimum
solution?
 What are the risks?
 Are costs in keeping with the
benefits?
 Will the solution create new
problems?
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CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS
STEP 6. Implement the decision!
 Who must be involved?
 To what extent?
 How, when and where?
 Who will the decision impact?
 What might go wrong?
 How will the results be reported and verified?
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CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS
STEP 7. Evaluate the results.
 Test the solution against the desired results.
 Make revisions if necessary.
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10 Questions To Encourage Ideas
1. What if…?
2. How can we improve…?
3. How will the Optimist Member and/or
the community benefit?
4. Are we forgetting anything?
5. What’s the next step?
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10 Questions To Encourage Ideas
6. What can we do better…?
7. What do you think about…?
8. What should we add?
9. What should we eliminate?
10.What other ideas do you have...?
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TOOLS & TECHNIQUES
BRAINSTORMING
Purpose:
To generate a large
number of ideas in a
short period of time.
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BRAINSTORMING
Rules for Brainstorming:
 The more ideas the better!
 No discussion
 No idea is a bad idea
 Build on one another’s ideas
 Display all ideas
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BRAINSTORMING EXERCISE
How Do We Motivate Our Local
Optimist Club Members?
Ideas: Freely record your ideas as they come to your mind.
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BRAINSTORMING GUIDELINES
1. Practice question: How Do We
Motivate Our Local Optimist Club
Members?
Remember
Creative
Thinking
Re-state the
question to keep
the process going
What did
you mean by
that?!!!
2. Clarify understanding. Once all the
ideas have been generated (it may
take approximately 5 to 6 minutes),
review ideas offered.
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BRAINSTORMING GUIDELINES
Let’s
combine
ideas!!!
3. Combine items that
are similar and/or
eliminate duplicates.
Are we
done yet?
4. Completion.
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TOOLS & TECHNIQUES MULTIVOTING
 Purpose:
To help a group of people make a
decision with which they are comfortable.
 Definition:
A way to vote to select the most important
or popular items (alternatives) from a list.
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MULTIVOTING
Steps
1. Generate a list of items and
number each item.
2. If two or more items seem similar,
they may be combined.
3. If necessary, renumber the items.
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MULTIVOTING Steps (Continued)
4. Write down the numbers of the items you
feel are the major cause of the problem.
5. Share your votes by a show of hands.
6. Eliminate those items with the fewest votes.
7. Repeat steps 3 (renumber) through 6 on the
list of remaining items. Continue this process
until only a few items remain. If a clear favorite
does not emerge, the group may discuss the
items listed and make a choice.
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MIND MAPPING
Definition : A visual picture of a group of
ideas, concepts or issues.
Purpose :
 Unblock our thinking.
 See an entire idea or several ideas on one
sheet of paper.
 See how ideas relate to one another.
 Look at things in a new and different way.
 Look at an idea in depth.
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Mind Mapping Exercise
Think
freely!!
 Over-sized blank sheet of paper.
1. Initial
Tumble of  Select word, phrase or problem statement
to serve as a focus for discussion.
Ideas.
 Print it in the middle of the paper. Enclose
it in a box or oval.
 Let a word pop out of your mind.
Print it anywhere on the paper.
 Underline it and connect the line with the
problem statement (or key phrase or word)
you are working.
 Record the next idea and connect it to
original focus point or the prior thought.
 Continue printing and connecting words.
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Mind Mapping Exercise
EXAMPLE
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Mind Mapping Exercise
-- Helpful Hints
A

 Keep your printing
large and easy to read.
 Feel free to use
symbols and or pictures.
 Have some fun using
different colors.
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COMPLETED MAP
Have Fun
Drawing
Your Own
Mind Map!
 Draw over clusters of similar thoughts
that are associated with the main focus
point. Have fun using a different color
highlighter with each cluster of words.
 How do the variety of ideas relate to one
another?
 Do you notice any common causes of
the problem? What are the most important
causes?
 You are now ready to brainstorm
solutions!
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APPLICATION OF LEARNING
What Are The Three Greatest Problems /
Opportunities Your Club is Currently Facing?
i.e. “How do you motivate your club members?”
1.
2.
3.
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