The 3 stages of creative problem solving

Creative problem solving refers to taking an innovative, creative approach to a problem or challenge. It’s an approach that helps people see their problems from a different angle and come up with innovative ways in which to solve these problems.

There are three stages in the creative problem solving process, and these are:

1. Exploring the problem

It’s vital to get a feel of the problem before committing to a course of action. Sometimes the process is set off by our desire to improve something. Either way, the first step is to check the facts. Talk to the people involved, gather data and look for patterns that might indicate where and what the problem might be. Make sure you are not confusing symptoms of a problem with the actual problem. Treating just the symptoms won’t make a problem go away, and those symptoms will reappear.

2. Generating ideas

Generating a creative solution to a problem is not a straight to the point process. First of all, you need to brainstorm ideas, while making sure you are coming up with creative ideas which you can actually apply. It’s all about making connection and understanding what the highest level of risk you can afford to take is.

3. Choosing and implementing a solution

Choosing a solution should be based on clearly stated criteria. Once you’ve selected and improved the best two or three ideas, you can see which of them is the one meeting the most criteria, and go with that.

However, a creative idea also needs to be implemented, and you need to make sure that your company has the resources – financial, technological, human, and time, to implement the solution. You must also assign the project to someone, and you need to establish clear goals as well as progress markings, in order to be able to measure performance and progress, and adapt on the way as needed.