Team 1: Week 6 Summary Question 1
Anita Altawan, Morgan Callahan, Brian Chancellor, Jessica Ehinger, Bernard Godfrey
Siena Heights University



Team 1: Week 6 Summary Question 1
Week 6 question 1 was as follows: “Define and discuss how a leader can "bake
in" creative and linear problem solving methodologies, within an existing organizational culture.
Provide examples and cite outside sources where applicable.” The classmates started the week’s
posts discussing the need for leaders to recognize the fact that there is a problem in order to start
with the “bake in” process. They also spoke of cultural tendencies. Cultural tendencies within an
organization can manifest in ways such as elitist attitudes, conservatism, submission to authority,
avoidance, and impersonal behavior (Brooks, 1994). These cultural tendencies can inhibit or
influence problem-solving capability within an organization. In other words. They can inhibit the
“bake in” of creative problem solving. As far back as 1969 Becker and Baloff stated “It is
generally agreed that the structure of an organization affects its ability to solve problems
efficiently” (p. 260).
The students also discussed that baking in the creative solving concept may not be as cut
and dry as it seems. Buijs, Smulders, and Meer (2009) suggest a 4 step approach. They said you
should start with content finding. That is what people already know and share the information.
Second, acceptance finding. This is the process of getting the involved parties on the same page.
Help the, be a part of the process so they accept the ideas. Third, information finding. This is
where you collect data from outside sources. The stuff you didn’t know. Lastly, they say to use a
project management process. This includes budget, time, stakeholders, etc. The process must be
done as a project with all parties included (pp. 286-297).
The discussion then went to commitment and consistency of the leader. We discussed the
necessity of active listeners, effective communicators, and overall leaders that will actively
engage in the organization in order to “bake in” creative and linear problem solving techniques.



A leader must carefully explore each phase of problem solving and not hurry to the solution in
order to save time. Perez & Uline (2003) said "by definition, a problem-solving expert possesses,
among other qualities, the ability to perceive meaningful patterns within his or her domain and
represent problems at a deeper level" (p. 154). We also discussed that the leader himself must be
a good problem solver. A leader can incorporate or “bake in” this particular problem solving
method within an existing organizational culture by simply taking a problem understanding it,
generate ideas incorporating solutions and suggestions that are culturally embedded.
Next, the students discussed that there are different variations to creating an environment
compliant to problem solving in ways outside of the norm. Dittrich, Lang, and White described
leadership and problem solving into three variances. Stating "research and discussion of problem
solving can be partitioned conveniently into three levels of complexity, depending upon who is
involved in the problem solving: 1: an individual level that involves a single manager, 2: a group
level that involves the small group or task force, and 3: a larger organizational level that involves
more than a single group." (Dittrich, Lang, & White, 1978, p.856). All three of these aspects
would play any part in creating a creative and linear problem solving atmosphere.
We then discussed trust of the leader. Building a culture that attacks problems and not
people will require trust. Employees need to feel empowered to explore creative options. They
shouldn’t be afraid that they will be yelled at or disciplined for solutions that do not work. This
doesn’t mean that there are no parameters, but employees need a certain amount of mental
freedom to explore non-traditional options.
Lastly, we talked about incubation, illumination, and brainstorming. Incubation involves
unconscious mental activity. A leader can build in incubation by allowing time in the work day
for brainstorming and collaborating. A manager can foster incubation by showing enthusiasm for



creativity and encouraging more thoughts. Managers can also make it a priority to have
brainstorming areas complete with creative comforts such as white boards, paper, candy, etc.
Illumination is an insight and creative solution that can be articulated. At times in marketing,
Illumination can come immediately following Incubation. Sometimes when creating a campaign
several rounds of incubation are required to reach Illumination. The culture can encourage
Illumination by granting the staff autonomy and a supportive environment for ideas.
In conclusion we determined it takes good leadership. Leadership that fosters a culture of
listening and avoids cultural tendencies. Also leadership that are active listeners, effective
communicators, and overall leaders that will actively engage in the organization. They must
create an environment that is conducive to creative problem solving and finally, they need to be
good problem solvers themselves. All this will “bake in” creative problem solving.

Becker, S. W., & Baloff, N.. (1969). Organization Structure and Complex Problem
Solving. AdministrativeScience Quarterly, 14(2), 260–271.
Brooks, I. (1994). Managerial Problem Solving: A cultural perspective. Management Decision,
32 (7), 53-59.
Buijs, J., Smulders, F., & Meer, H. V. (2009). Towards a More Realistic Creative Problem
Solving Approach. Creativity and Innovation Management,18(4), 286-298.
Dittrich, J. E., & Lang, J. R., & White, S. E. (1978). Managerial problem solving models: A
review and a proposal, Academy of management, 3(4), 854-866.
Perez, L. G., & Uline, C. L. (2003). Administrative problem solving in the information age:
Creating technological capacity. Journal of Educational Administration, 41(2), 143-157.
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