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### Lecture 5 -2Creative Problem Solving

Essential Reading: Notes in Blackboard + Proctor Chapter 4

Peter Considine & tc

Problems ??????

- This section covers some of the ideas in use, the most obvious one is, simply ignore it, someone else will solve it for me.
- These are reasonably formal suggestions, please explain your ways to solve all the creative problems that are present in everyday life.

Peter Considine & tc

What Is a Problem?

Can you answer YES to all 3 questions:

- Is there an undesirable deviation from what is expected to happen?
- Do you want to do something about it?
- Is there anything that can be done about it?
- If so, then a problem does exists. Let’s solve it!

Peter Considine & tc

CPS 6 Stage Model of Problem Solving - Alex Osborn (1963),

Stages 1 , 2 & 3.

- Objective finding, fact finding, problem finding.

Stage 4.

- Idea generation / finding.

Stage 5.

- Solution finding.

Stage 6.

- Implementation & acceptance finding.

Peter Considine & tc

Creative Problem Solving-is it:

- Objective finding - define the problem area
- Fact finding - gather information
- Problem finding - define the problem correctly
- Idea finding - generate solutions to the problem
- Solution finding - evaluate and choose between possible solutions
- Acceptance finding - implement the chosen ideas correctly

Peter Considine & tc

Objective Finding

- The objective finding stage essentially involves divergent thinking to generate a list of problems
- Convergence is then used to identify the most relevant problem areas for further exploration
- \'Hits\' and \'hotspots\' are identified by questioning
- Ownership - is one motivated to solve it?
- Priority - how important is the problem?
- Critical nature - how urgent is it to solve this problem?

Peter Considine & tc

Fact Finding

- Next is the fact-finding stage, where overall comprehension of the problem is increased by collection of relevant information
- This also helps new ideas to be generated
- \'Hits\' and \'hotspots\' can assist convergence
- The previously identified problem\'s may now be seen from a new perspective

Peter Considine & tc

PROBLEM FINDING

- Problem-finding essentially uses the previous stage \'hits\' to identify the most productive problem definition possible.

Peter Considine & tc

IDEA FINDING

- Idea-finding helps to structure the search for potential solutions
- Mainly divergent activity is used to generate many ideas using a variety of idea-generation aids

Peter Considine & tc

SOLUTION FINDING

- Solution-finding is basically the choice of ideas that can be transformed into workable solutions.

Peter Considine & tc

Acceptance Finding

- Acceptance-finding is primarily a divergent activity that helps to implement solutions successfully, such as
- Listing potential implementation obstacles and ways to overcome them
- Developing both preventive actions and contingency plans
- Generating an action plan to implement a solution

Peter Considine & tc

Creative Problem-solving process

Objective Finding

Fact Finding

Problem Finding

Idea Finding

Solution Finding

Acceptance Finding

Peter Considine & tc

Overview of Objective finding, fact finding & problem finding/definition

Proctor (2005.p74)

Peter Considine & tc

Creative Problem-solving process

Compare Past to Present

Objective Finding

Scan Environment

Compare Current Situation against current objectives

Compare performance with models of desirable outcomes

Compare performance with other business area or other firms.

Peter Considine & tc

Stage 1 -Problem Finding

- Scan the environments

- external via a PEST analysis

- competitive via Porter’s 5

- internal via resource audit and value chain

- Devise a SWOT analysis

Peter Considine & tc

Phase 1

- Stage 1 – Objective finding
- Ad Hoc listing all the issues for further discussion
- Priority evaluation and Decide on the issues worth pursuing – (which one to focus on)
- Identify SWOT
- Map onto a SWOT matrix
- Use above to identify objectives and enter on Matrix

Peter Considine & tc

A toy manufacturer – reviews position and strategies – TWOS Anlasysis

Peter Considine & tc

Stage 1 - Problem Finding

“Screening Method”

- Ad hoc listing screened by scoring each problem

(0=irrelevant, 5=important)

- Is it considered large?

- Is a solution deemed urgent?

- Does it involve the org’n in losses or added costs?

- Will customer appreciate the removal of the problem?

- Will the org’ns image be enhanced?

- Will the org’ns internal morale benefit?

- Total the score: higher score = greater priority

Peter Considine & tc

Creative Problem-solving process

Objective Finding

Fact Finding

Problem Finding

Idea Finding

Solution Finding

Acceptance Finding

Peter Considine & tc

Creative Problem-solving process

State Problem as In What Ways Might (IWWWM)

Objective Finding

Fact Finding

Record relevant Who? Why?

What? When?

How?

Problem Finding

Idea Finding

Use answers to create redefinitions

Solution Finding

Select Best Re Definitions

Acceptance Finding

Peter Considine & tc

Stage 2 – Fact Finding“W.W.W.H.W.W.”

Peter Considine & tc

Stage 2 – Fact finding“W.W.W.W.W.H”

- Who?
- Where?
- Is it confined to the organisation?
- Is it confined to one part of the world/country?
- Is it confined to one distribution outlet?
- What?
- What parts can it be divided into?
- To what other problems does it relate to?
- What is the total situation of which this problem is a part?
- What is the dimension of the problem? (small, medium, large)
- What will happen if it is not solved?
- What will happen if the solution is delayed?

Peter Considine & tc

Why? & When?

- Why?
- Did it occur in the first place?
- Was it not recognised earlier?
- Did the org’n not try to solve it either?
- When?
- Was it first noticed?
- Does this timing have any significance?
- Is there a seasonal element?

Peter Considine & tc

How?

- Did it come to be recognised?
- Does it effect the organisation performance?
- Was it dealt with previously? (if at all)
- Was it prevented from occurring/ reoccurring in the past?

Peter Considine & tc

Fact Finding Cont

- Use answers to create redefinitions
- Eg where does the problem arise, when is it most obvious etc etc
- Exercise

Peter Considine & tc

DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS

Peter Considine & tc

Dimensional Analysis

- How big/ wide is the problem (Jenson, ’78)
- Define the limits, boundaries and dimensions of the problem
- S.S.Q.QT aspects
- Substantive
- Spatial
- Qualitative
- Quantitative
- Temporal

Peter Considine & tc

Further Readings

- Proctor, T.(2005). Creative Problem Solving for Managers. Routledge Ch 4
- Bills & Genasi (2003) Creative Business- achieving your goals through creative thinking and action. Palgrave MacMillan

Peter Considine & tc

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