Solving Problems Analytically and Creatively

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  • Topic: Problem solving, Creativity, Lateral thinking
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13/9/2012

Developing Management Skills

Learning Objectives

Chapter 3:
Solving Problems Analytically and
Creatively

• Increase proficiency in analytic
problem solving
• Recognize personal conceptual
blocks
• Enhance creativity by overcoming
conceptual blocks
• Foster innovation among others

3-1
1

3-2
2

A Model of
Problem Solving

A Model of
Problem Solving

• Step 1: Define the Problem








• Step 2: Generate Alternative Solutions



Differentiate fact from opinion
Specify underlying causes
Tap everyone involved for information
State the problem explicitly
Identify what standard is violated
Determine whose problem it is
Avoid stating the problem as a disguised
solution






Postpone evaluating alternatives
Be sure all involved individuals generate
alternatives
Specify alternatives that are consistent with
goals
Specify both short- and long-term solutions
Build on others’ ideas
Specify alternatives that solve the problem

3-3
3

3-4
4

A Model of
Problem Solving

A Model of
Problem Solving
• Step 4: Implement and Follow Up on the
Solution

• Step 3: Evaluate and Select an Alternative






Evaluate relative to an optimal standard
Evaluate systematically
Evaluate relative to goals
Evaluate main effects and side effects
State the selected alternative explicitly







3-5
5

Implement at proper time and in the right
sequence
Provide opportunities for feedback
Engender acceptance
Establish ongoing monitoring system
Evaluate based on problem solution

3-6
6

1

13/9/2012

Constraints on the Analytical ProblemSolving Model

Constraints on the Analytical ProblemSolving Model
• Generating Alternatives

• Defining the problems

– Alternatives are evaluated as they
are proposed
– Few possible alternatives are
usually known
– The first acceptable solution is
usually accepted
– Alternatives are based on what
was successful in the past

– Lack of consensus on the problem
– Acceptance of problem definition
– Symptoms are often confused
with the real problem
– Confusing information

3-7
7

Constraints on the Analytical ProblemSolving Model
• Evaluating and Select an Alternative






3-8
8

Constraints on the Analytical ProblemSolving Model
• Implementation and Follow up

Information on alternatives is limited
Search for information occurs close to
home
The type of information is constrained by
other factors
Gathering information is costly
Preferences for the best alternatives are not
always known







Acceptance is not always forthcoming
Resistance to change
Uncertainty about what part of solution
to monitor
Political and organizational processes
must be managed
It may take a long time to implement a
solution

3-9
9

Impediments to Creative Problem
Solving
• Most people assume creativity is
one dimensional
• Almost everyone has created
blocks that inhibit our creativity

3-10
10

Four Types of Creativity
Insert Figure 3.1

3-11
11

3-12
12

2

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Key Dimensions of
the Four Types

Examples for Four Types

Insert Figure 3.2

3-13
13

3-14
14

Conceptual Blocks

Two Examples

Mental obstacles that constrain the
way problems are defined.

1. Percy Spencer’s Magnetron led
to the invention of the
microwave
2. Spence Silver’s Glue led to the
development of the enormously
popular Post-It Notes

3-15
15

Conceptual Blocks

3-16
16

deBono’s Ways of Thinking
•Vertical Thinking

1.
2.
3.
4.

Constancy
Commitment
Compression
Complacency






Continuity
Chooses
Stability
Searches for what
is right
– Analytic
– Where the idea
came from
– Develops an idea

3-17
17

• Lateral Thinking





Discontinuity
Changes
Instability
Searches for what is
different
– Provocative
– Where the idea is
going
– Discovers the...
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