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Creativity Problem Solving

5 Questions to put your creativity to work!

Creativity Problem Solving

5 Questions to put your creativity to work!

Whether you’ve a problem to solve or a decision to make, our creativity problem solving questions help promote ‘possibility thinking’….

Here are five questions which can help you generate options and possibilities to both solve problems, and make decisions. Without creative options, decisions can become hard to make, and problems difficult to solve. What’s often needed is a way to encourage ‘possibility thinking’. Try looking beyond the short term, the narrow perspective, the usual methods, or the tried and true. Be bold!

George Bernard Shaw’s famous quote epitomizes the power of creative and positive thinking:

“Some men see things as they are and say, ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were and say, ‘Why not?'”

Possibility Thinking: 5 Questions to Generate Options

1. “What if …/ what else….?”

Try to extend your thinking beyond any easy, standard or first solutions.
Consider other possibilities and propose options.
Ask “what if we were able to………?”

2. “Wouldn’t it be great if …?”

Questions such as this lead us to construct wish lists with a difference….
Ask what things would you really like to be doing?
“Wouldn’t it be great if we could conduct business the way we’d really like to do it?”
Wish lists aren’t necessarily just flights of fancy. Especially if they encourage creative thinking, prompt solutions, and begin to foster actions ….

3. “How might we …?”

Take “what if” and “wouldn’t it be great” a stage further.
Asking this question makes you think about how something might be done.
How might we increase our sales by 50%?
How might we address our customer’s major problems?
How might we turn this lost order into a positive?

4. “Why not / what’s stopping us?”

Ask questions to provoke action.
Why hasn’t something been done before?
What’s stopping us from acting on this idea?
Are there any assumptions we need to test?
Where do we need more clarity?
What are the potential benefits of doing this?
What would it take to make this happen?

5. “What if our success was completely guaranteed?”

Of all our creativity problem solving questions, this one perhaps offers the greatest potential.
What if we thought we couldn’t fail?
What bold steps might we take?
What might we achieve?
Why not?!

Putting Your Creativity Problem Solving to Work

Here are some tips to help you get the most from possibility thinking, and from our creativity problem solving questions.

  • Schedule some dedicated, undisturbed time so you and your team can really reflect on these questions.
  • Try to generate as many possibilities as you can.
  • Do any of the suggestions spark other ideas to think about? Allow free-flow in adding to your list.
  • Record your ideas but make sure you don’t analyze them for the time being. What you want at the stage is a flow of ideas.
  • Judgement comes later when you evaluate your ideas in the light of any criteria you are trying to meet.

If you do have the time to read more on this topic, follow the full discussion in our article: The Power of Positive Thinking.

More problem solving resources

To help you think differently we’ve developed an e-guide packed with problem solving exercises. “What’s the problem” is designed to help you find the right problems then take steps to address them.

What's the Problem?There are exercises to help you to:

  • Think about how you respond to problems.
  • Ask some key questions to help define the problem.
  • Focus on important problems.
  • Build creativity in to your options for solving the problem.
  • Apply structured question techniques.
  • Progress through a seven step problem solving process.
  • Avoid solving the symptoms and find the root causes.
  • Use the potential and power of teams to solve problems.

What’s the Problem is a comprehensive guide to problem solving, complete with these 9 essential tools:

  • Tool 1: When you don’t know what to do
  • Tool 2: Defining questions for problem solving
  • Tool 3: Finding the right problems to solve
  • Tool 4: Problem solving check-list
  • Tool 4a: Using the question check-list with your team
  • Tool 5: Problem analysis in 4 steps
  • Tool 5a: Using 4 Step problem analysis with your team
  • Tool 6: Questions that create possibilities
  • Tool 6a: Using the 5 questions with your team
  • Tool 6b: Putting creativity to work – 5 alternate questions
  • Tool 6c: Workshop outline
  • Tool 7: Evaluating alternatives
  • Tool 8: Creative thinking techniques A-Z
  • Tool 9: The 5 Whys technique
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I like the way you introduced material I haven’t seen before (SHARP action) & the tools to apply the learning. The price represents really good value for money and I will be checking out more of your material over the coming months.

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