Creative Problem Solving
"I know, let's do a jeans day where we each put in some money to be able to wear jeans to work that day."
"Or we could do a competition between the employees and the partners. If the employees put in or raise more money than the partners then the partners will each have to put in $x of their own money."
These were the ideas that my wife came home and told me that the staff at her workplace (an accounting firm) had come up with to raise money for a local charity. "Those sound like great ideas," I responded. "What's the problem?"
In a tone of disappointment, my wife told me, "These are the same ideas we come up with every year. I wish we could have some new and creative ideas."
I then explained a process to my wife that she could use in their next meeting to generate more, and higher-quality ideas.
My wife was skeptical, "I don't think that will work." (I am not sure why she doubted me, I had been helping businesses and organizations solve all kinds of complex problems with this process. Nevertheless, I knew I had to convince her to give it a try.)
"Well, you can move forward with the same ideas that you have every year, or you can put my process to the test. The choice is yours, but really there isn't much choice here." I said as I put my challenge forward.
Whether my wife was convinced that this process would work, or wanted to try it so that it would fail and she could say, "I told you so," I am not sure. However, later that week she came home with a huge smile on her face. She told me that her team tried the process I put forward and they actually generated more ideas and much higher quality ideas.
When CEOs were asked, "What is the skill you most value in your people?" about 60% said it was creativity to solve problems.
Whether the problem you are trying to solve revolves around raising funds for a charity, developing the newest product, or addressing market issues the process of generating high volume and high quality ideas is the same.
If you do not believe us, take us up on that challenge, or keep producing the same unwanted result you already have. As I said to my wife, "There really isn't much choice here."
Don Cruickshank, MALM (Masters in Leadership & Management)
*Certified in Team Leadership
*Leading From Your Strengths Certified Trainer, Coach, Consultant
- Empowering individuals and organizations towards creating successful futures