24 Creative Problem Solving Techniques

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The Best Problem Solving Techniques
What are the best problem solving techniques? The ones that work for you. Try any or all of the techniques explained here, and you'll probably find that two or three of them work really well for you again and again. I might find different ones that work better for me. That's natural, as we are all different. One problem solving method Albert Einstein used was to "sleep on it." He then often had his creative inspirations while shaving in the morning. He also used the "change of perspective" technique with some success when he imagined riding on a beam of light and came up with his theory of relativity. My Own Favorites? For myself, I have the most fun with "random presentation," a technique that has you select any object to see what it can show you about a problem, and "concept combination," which involves combining ideas, objects and various factors. These two techniques can give you an endless stream of new ideas. They are a couple of the best for coming up with new inventions and business ideas. My best ideas however, come with "assumption challenging." Challenging the assumption that a book has to be sold lead to this e-book. I consider this to be the most powerful and creative problem solving technique, but that may be because it works for me. You may find that "metaphorical analysis" is more your style.

Some Techniques Are Just New Ways To Do The Same Thing One thing you will notice as you read through these techniques is that some of them are very similar. Certainly, the technique of "assuming the absurd," in which you ask questions like, “What if customers made their own products?” can be seen as another way of "assumption challenging." That's okay. In fact, sometimes a slightly different way of expressing an idea, or a slight twist on an existing method, is all it takes to make it interesting and usable for you, or for me. We all operate a bit differently. Combining Techniques Combining two or more techniques will become natural as you learn more. It is a powerful way to get truly innovative ideas that work. You certainly can brainstorm, while changing perspectives and challenging assumptions. You can also use ten different techniques on the same problem, and then combine the ideas you come up with to arrive at the best solution. Now, before you start using the techniques explained here, you should become familiar with the three basic rules of creative problem solving.

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Three Steps To Effective Problem Solving
1. Suspend Critical Judgement Let anything go in the initial stages. Think it's a stupid thought? Write it down or say it anyhow. "Bad ideas" often trigger better ones. At one time, I'm sure that the idea "Hey, lets get rid of the cashiers," would have seemed useless and silly to grocery store owners. Somebody worked with it, though, and now you see selfcheckout lanes in many stores. Apart from the possibility of a bad idea leading to a good one, there is the issue of how we function. Tell yourself or others "That's stupid" a few times, and any good ideas you or they have aren't likely to be spoken. Nothing shuts down a good brainstorming session faster than an environment where people are afraid to throw "crazy" ideas out for consideration.

Have Many Ideas This is really easier than it sounds. drop them. . That’s okay. or to see where it might take you. Just be sure to produce lots of ideas when you are working on a problem. Choose The Best Solutions Time to invite your critical judgement back into the process. by the way. When you do start critically analyzing possible solutions. Some of them. Having many new ideas is easy. Maybe only a small percentage. in order not to stifle the creativity. you need to be very clear on the criteria. You'll be able to think of forty new ways to make money in a day. For example. you can certainly allow as much creativity as you want into your critical analysis of your ideas. In the meantime. just work the techniques and keep pumping out ideas. you may have to redefine or clarify the problem. If you are a writer. If they are useless in the end. 2. While the analysis part of the process shouldn’t intrude on the creative part. creative part first. get in the habit of using a few of these techniques. Some of your ideas will even be good ones. There can also be a lot of back and forth between the creative and analytical parts of the process. and you'll be able to come up with a dozen new ways to make music in an hour. while keeping the wheels of your creative imagination turning.Let the ideas flow. If you don’t believe this now. It also increases the opportunities for productive combinations of ideas. you will as soon as you spend a little time applying the techniques found in this book. You can come back to it later to develop it more. 3. you can have 30 new story ideas in an afternoon. Only after you have many creative ideas should you start the evaluation process. right? The point of having many ideas is that it increases the odds of good ones appearing. Finish the non-judgmental. One good idea can sometimes make all the difference. This can be a good problem solving technique in itself. It helps to quickly move on once you write an idea down. if you are a musician. Ask the following questions about your ideas: How does it solve the problem? To answer this. They will have taken only a few seconds of your time. You also should clearly separate this part of the process from the ideagenerating part.

Assumption Challenging 2.” In what ways is it better or worse than existing solutions? You may have to start all over if none of the possible solutions you came up with are better than what exists.In what ways is it better or worse than the other possible solutions? This is where you start weeding out the less useful ideas. and is it worth the work or investment required? Time to apply real world estimates of the benefit versus the cost. it may be something you can use with what exists. It may help to actually use two columns on a piece of paper. labeled “better. instead of replacing it.” and “worse. and almost certainly work as intended. and the probability of it working. Cause A Problem To Solve It 6.. Creactivity . a company couldn't justify a ten million dollar investment to produce it.. Still...... if only three hundred people in the world have the disease. .. Maybe a new medicine could cure a disease... On the other hand... It's time to learn and use the specific techniques for solving problems. How could it be implemented. Add-Subtract-Change 3. maybe creating new ideas is more fun than implementing them... Okay.. The 24 Problem Solving Techniques 1. Let's get started with that part. Brainstorming 4. Assume The Absurd 5. be better than any other solution.. This may also lead to combining the more useful ones.

Concept Combination 14. Learn to do this.. Metaphorical Analysis 23.Assumption Challenging The hardest part about challenging assumptions is identifying all the assumptions that we so easily and subtly make. Ask People 20... Random Presentation 15.. Google It 19.. Knowledge Gathering 9.. Change Of Perspective 8..7.. Mind Preparation 11. Redefine It 24. #1 . Simplify . Do What Others Have Done 22... Mind Mapping . . Let It Incubate 18.. Sleep On It 13.. Idea Generating Word List 16..Complicate 21. Solve The Parts 17. Imaginary Friends 10.. Walk With It 12.. though..

7. Let's use an example to go through the process. You write down some new ideas on marketing your existing bikes. Maybe the water-bike from above would be a good beach rental. 2. 3. 5. They need to be made of metal. Notice that number seven challenges the problem itself. Would you normally think to add to your list the assumption "I have to . 1. How do you get some new and really creative ideas to explore? Write down those assumptions. 6. can often yield the most useful ideas. Challenging the primary assumption. Bicycles need wheels. Then you can begin challenging each assumption on the list. Do you really need a new product? What if you drop the whole idea of a new product? Maybe there is more money to be made marketing the existing products in new ways. People buy bicycles to get from here to there. 4. 2. They may include: 1. When you are done you should have a list much longer than this one. It can be tough to identify these "hidden" assumptions. Bicycles need two wheels. Does a bicycle need wheels? You imagine a "bike" with skis that hydroplanes on water when you pedal fast enough. You jot the idea down. What are the alternatives to metal? What are the advantages of fiberglass or plastic? 7. 6. and you want to create a new product. Not sell them? Maybe rent them. Start with pen and paper. Sell to vendors. You own a bicycle manufacturing company. who rent to the ultimate consumer. Why only leg power? A pedaling device for use with the hands? A new minimotor for bikes? 5. A video game that is controlled by riding a stationary bicycle? 3. or the definition of the problem. That would save the cost of re-tooling. They have to be powered by a persons legs We have to sell them. We need a new product. 4. Four wheels? What are the advantages? Where is the market? You write down anything that comes to mind.and you'll have some truly creative ideas. Does the rider have to go somewhere? A bike that goes nowhere? Maybe an exercise bike that runs a TV set? You only get to watch TV when you are pedaling.

What could we change? We could make the tires reflective for safety.solve this?" Doing so could lead you to the realization that delegating it to the engineers would be the best way to go. What could we subtract? Take away some of the gears? I’ve always thought that for casual users.Add-Subtract-Change This is good systematic technique that's easy to use. or find a new type of padding. What could we add? Maybe a radio could be built into the handle bars? Perhaps a map holder that attaches to the handle bars? A pet-carrier up front. looking for things to add can require a bit of imagination. and ask what would happen if it was removed or lessened. so you can bring your cat along for the ride? (Okay. #2 . six speeds is enough. item by item. Lower the price? 3. we would look at an existing bicycle and ask: 1.) A built-in retractable lock? 2. subtract or change. . Just look at everything. Using the “add-subtract-change” technique to come up with our new product. I'm going to use the bicycle example from "assumption challenging. Subtract some of the weight? Lighter is better. Could we make the gears shift automatically? Add As you can see. I’ll stop looking at the handle bars as I write this. Subtract On the other hand. Look for all the assumptions to get the widest variety and the most solutions. looking for things to subtract can be very systematic. It is particularly good for use in redesigning things. You just start with the existing "solution" and ask what you can add. We could put a hole in the seat for mens comfort." just to show how different techniques will suggest very different solutions. but can be used for any type of problem.

Item by item you look at every aspect of the existing solution to imagine ways in which you could alter it. arguments. and I think you'll find that each gets your mind working in a different way. and everyone freely contributes ideas. Important Lesson: Try several techniques on the same problem. at least in the first part of the session. and builds on the ideas of others." another adds." is suggested. A group is presented with a problem or problems to solve. #3 .Brainstorming Brainstorming is using the power of many minds. and therefore gives you different ideas. is to make everyone feel free to suggest any ideas. “Bad” or “silly” ideas can lead to helpful ones. Even worse is when participants don't suggest ideas at all. This is an easy problem solving technique to use (all of them are really). "Let's not deliver. and when another criticizes this.What could we change? . you stifle the creative process." one suggests. Good Brainstorming .is where you get to be very systematic and imaginative. so suggestions have to be left un-judged at first. At least it did for me as I wrote this. then. . That's no way to brainstorm. How do you make that happen? Have A Good Leader A good leader will stop any criticisms. Often in a brainstorming session each person just defends their own ideas. he is reminded of the rules. At least that is the idea. "Or just find a company with lower rates.An Example A company needs to cut delivery costs. "Negotiate lower shipping rates. Ideas should flow freely and trigger other ideas. A brainstorming session needs to be spontaneous. Otherwise. You can see that it produces different ideas than the "assumption challenging" technique. Reducing package weight and charging customers more are suggested. The leaders job. and lead to other ideas. and even strong opinions. replace it. for fear they'll be attacked or ridiculed. open and uncritical. or redesign it. The brainstorming participants start to suggest ideas and solutions.Change The last question .

#4 . take notes. that last one just hit the market. using a modified bicycle wheel. That's good brainstorming.Assume The Absurd The technique of "assuming the absurd" is really just a twist on the basic assumption-challenging technique." he starts with. but then he thinks about it and says. It's advantage is that it tends to get you thinking more imaginatively. I suppose that might save us money on shipping. Actually. The customers could pick up their orders there. "We could deliver in bulk to central distribution points instead of to the individual customers. and moves on to the other ideas. or wheels that can handle rough trails." Someone suggests that the customers may like the arrangement. The "Wheelpacker" attaches to your back and lets you pull the pack down the trail behind you. with no need to pack and ship it. a "bad" idea was used to come to a possible solution. . This brings new insight to the ideas. and any group can come up with dozens of new ideas. (This is a really useful technique to try at your next brainstorming session. "We have to deliver. At least it will if you play along. In the last example. Now it's time to further develop the ideas for whatever usefulness they may have. They could return the product immediately if they were dissatisfied. he asks the man who criticized the idea of not delivering to work with that idea.) The leader assigns a couple people to look into it. A few good techniques and a good leader.) For example. "What if the backpack carried itself?" A helium balloon comes to mind. and eventually calls a halt to this free-for-all part of the session. (It worked for Sears for years. Some Examples Of Absurd Assumptions Tired of carrying that heavy backpack in the wilderness? Ask the absurd question. To keep the creativity flowing. The easiest way to start with this technique is with "what if" questions.The leader keeps it civil. the leader has participants defend or develop ideas that are not their own. Good leadership keeps the whole process working. and prevents the problem of people getting "stuck in a rut" with their own ideas. Important Note: A brainstorming session can be especially productive if the group is introduced to a few new problem solving techniques.

Personal Problems This can be a great technique for dealing with personal problems.. just drop it after a minute and move on." start with opposites. Instead. #5 . you don't have to actually cause a problem. "RaisinAds: Now with more advertising!" (Feel free to steal these ideas. and give you new ideas.) "What if I just quit my job and didn't look for another?" Hey. For . just say “how could decreasing sales be better?” That might lead to the idea of dropping non-profitable customers and squeezing more profit out of good customers. Maybe you could put an ad in the paper and let the jobs look for you? "What if lights produced sound instead of light?" This might be a nifty product for people who are blind. increasing sales and getting more profit per sale is even better. If You Can’t Think Absurdly If it is difficult to come up with absurd "what ifs. and to develop an internet business that pays the bills. It's absurd to think you can get good ideas from every question. Of course. If an absurd "what if" question. it might be even more profitable. But then again.Cause A Problem To Solve It Okay. or any other technique gets you nowhere. this question gave me the time and motivation to write this book.. for example. they could orient themselves in a room. That brings up an important point: There's no need to prove that your absurd assumption is better than existing ones. if the revenue was made up by selling advertising space on the box."What if we sold our cereal below cost?" That's absurd! Then again. Using the sounds. or follow a hallway easily. you ask the question:"How can I make this problem worse?" Then you systematically glean what lessons you can from each of these anti-solutions to arrive at ideas for real solutions. You use these techniques to trigger your imagination. If you need to increase sales.

Number five could get you thinking about ways to develop an interest. . and learned a lot. Number three suggests that you may want to change your internal dialog. Keep saying "This is too much work. if you are having trouble with your level of motivation. before I did this exercise. list all the ways you can think of to make it worse. I once asked myself how many ways I could get more stressed out. so you can find more creative solutions. Each of these anti-solutions can teach you something. That’s the value of this seemingly “negative” approach. You see. 2. if you only look at a problem from the perspective of "How do I solve it?" you see only solutions based on your current assumptions. and get overwhelmed. to create desire. By listing many ways to cause more stress. and to start thinking about the ways you might succeed.example. Sleep less. 3. but others immediately suggested easy ways to reduce stress. Any Problems In my personal example above. 4. of course. In any case. I was assuming that my stress was due to having too many things to do. As a result. my solutions were somewhat limited by that assumption. or maybe even to find more inspiring things to work on. Think about the ways you might fail. If you need more customers for your business. 5. Work on things that you have no interest in. each way to chase those customers away can give you ideas for incremental changes that will attract more business. Certainly it might help to get enough sleep. Number four reminds us how powerful it can be to just think about and take the next step. These might include: 1. Not only did I realize that I was doing some of the things on the list." Think of whole project. I found many little changes to relieve my stress solutions I might have missed. Business Problems This technique isn't just for personal problems. you ask "How could I scare them away?" You might realize you're doing some of the things you come up with. Looking at ways to make a problem worse breaks you away from those assumptions. I wrote a long list.

It is the concept of creativity coming from activity. the famous English writer. which can be play as well. To build a house you need tools. but nonetheless there are probably thousands of writers out there right now. The tools are the techniques here and whatever else is in your brain. materials. staring at a blank piece of paper. Just start playing with the problem. Creation begins with activity. perhaps. is what brings it all together. Get the work ready to work on later. start working on it. waiting for ideas to come. A builder can build more innovative homes after the first ten than before. start producing bad ideas and unworkable solutions. The work. you need the same. credits a simple habit for much of his success: He forced himself to write at least 500 words every day. An actor will be more creative after the first job than before it.Creactivity This isn't really a problem solving technique as much as a good habit to develop. creative inspiration can strike at any time. Obvious. Graham Green. That's it. Let me repeat that: Just Do it! Do it badly until you can do it better. The Creactivity Technique Okay. whether or not he felt like it. and eventually the ideas will get better. Yes. You have to do something to create something. so don't look for it in the dictionary.#6 . To come up with great ideas and creative solutions to problems. Then write something more relevant. Do a minor part of the work. but it sure strikes more often when there is work instead of waiting. Write an explanation of why you can’t find any solutions. how do you put this obvious principle into practice as a "technique?" Like this: when you are having difficulty coming up with good ideas and workable solutions. Just get . Write anything on a piece of paper. The materials are the things you know about the problem to be solved. Of course "creactivity" is invented. and work. Don't Wait! Whether you are trying to start that novel or looking for a new mathematical algorithm. Creactivity is my new word for the day. and then find a solution to that.

turning darker to absorb heat when you are cold. other eyes. There is a story about a man sitting on a dock fishing. The executive explained that he could make some money. for example. A change of perspective can be looking from another place. Shoes that give you the maximum performance and foot protection. and I felt hurt.” . or with a wider or narrower view of the problem. A line of clothing based entirely on function. “Invention is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. and build up a retirement fund even. or even imagine looking at the problem from another place. and lighter to reflect the sun when you're hot. He stopped to ask him why he didn't get a job. I imagined how the event would seem five years from now." the man replied. so I used that knowledge. The executive impatiently replied that the money would give him the freedom to do what he wanted in life.Change Of Perspective Stories can be great for providing a change of perspective. having just finished entertaining clients on his boat. More Examples To design a new line of clothing: Imagine how a logical machine would view the problem. with no regard for style? Functionality might become the new style. We need to ask how a child would view the problem. we need to create little stories in our minds. like the top of a building." Shirts that change color. When bad things happened. "But I'm already doing what I want. A busy executive. "Why should I?" the man asked in return. As a child I noticed that things which happened months or years ago didn't bother me much. The man asked why he'd want to do that. with no "extras.Thomas Edison #7 . That new perspective took a lot of the sting away. To further your career: How would your boss see the job you are doing? How . a different point in time. and it will come. saw the man and realized he was always there. How To Change Your Perspective To use a change of perspective for problem solving.to work in the area where you want creative inspiration.

Knowledge Gathering This is more of a preparatory step than a problem solving technique. List solutions that others have used for similar problems. That might give you ideas on increasing your profile. 2. you might immediately adapt the idea to your bookstore. List any potential solutions you've already thought about. What would they like to hear? To come up with radical new ideas: Don't forget that a new perspective can be as crazy as your imagination will allow. when you see that grocery stores are starting to use self-checkout lanes. until you learn more of the basics. Discovering that other stores like yours have higher profit margins can change the focus of your “make more money” problem from increasing sales to looking at costs and prices. The point? Be sure to gather the information and knowledge necessary before working on a problem. 3. Always Take Notes . Here are a few of the things you’ll want to look for and do when you are gathering knowledge and information to solve a problem: 1. you probably won't get many good ideas for new roofing tools with any technique. Jot down any information you think may be relevant. To be a better negotiator: Looking at the issues from the perspective of the other side is a great way to arrive at a win-win solution. For example. you might think about how important your role would appear to someone looking at the whole organization. If you know nothing about construction. Write an outline of the current situation.would a customer see it? How would a disinterested outsider see it? Taking a wider perspective.” is that you can often come upon solutions for problems just by getting more knowledge and information. #8 . 4. The reason I include this as a “technique. Einstein really did imagine riding that beam of light to arrive at his theory of relativity.

as long as you maintain an open mind. the solution others are using is self-checkout registers. you should keep your head full of the latest information and relevant knowledge. a discussion can really clarify things. you have to decide whether to gather more knowledge and information. In that case. If you don’t get any good ideas when you try. In the example above. for example.Once you've done this.a way to use your imagination. you would want to make a note to find out how much these machines cost initially. In other words. look at each item and make a note of anything else you may need to learn to effectively solve the problem. Plus. subscribe to the relevant trade magazines. We sit talking to friends and each feeds off the other's ideas. if you have a construction company. At some point. Talk to Andrew Carnegie or Lee Iacocca if your problem has to do with making a factory more productive. or don't want to share your ideas yet? How can you stimulate creativity and find elegant solutions to problems? Try talking to Albert Einstein. The idea is to have conversations in your head with anyone who can help. and maybe how they are maintained.access to the creative power of your mind . it may mean you need to do more information-gathering again. Continuing Education If the problem or problems you are working on are recurring issues. Why do this? Imagination Needs Form To Function You already have a powerful imagination. But what about when you're alone. What you may not have.Imaginary Friends Sometimes we're at our most creative when interacting with others. and you want to more easily solve your regular problems. the more creative your potential solutions can be . . is enough powerful ways to use it. whether you know it or not. Sometimes it can be beneficial to go back and forth between gathering information and brainstorming or using other creative problem solving techniques. or part of your job or business. #9 . That's what you get with a conversation in your head . and spend time with others in the business. The more you know. or start working on the problem. Questions about love can be addressed to the Dalai Lama.

Just Try It! Start talking with your imaginary friends (in your head please). or a question that produces something useful. All the ideas they come up with are yours. This can be a clean desk. The information necessary may be there in a young man's head. That’s the whole point . a conference room. in times of confusion. You'll be surprised how often an imaginary Einstein comes up with an interesting idea. and listen to what they have to say. of course. if that works for you. he imagines what Jesus would do or say and he quickly "sees" the answer. #10 . business.these other voices are other ways for your imagination to produce good ideas. but you’ll notice right away that what one imaginary person says will be very different from what another says. It's a powerful way to draw on the power of your unconscious mind. . If that is too difficult.Mind Preparation This is another preparation technique. Here are ten ways: Tips For Clear Thinking 1. Explain your problem to this person. It can even be a fictional character. just imagine two other people having a conversation about the problem you want to solve. Then. Have a place that is conducive to good thinking. Whether or not you are a Christian. You can use this technique for help with personal. Just ask anything you want.Start by imagining someone you respect and know something about. moral and any other problems. but what if there is too much "brain fog" for you to process it? The solution is to get your mind ready for a problem solving session. Gathering all the information and knowledge you need is a great preparatory step. you can see how. and it will work if you give it a chance. This is so you can easily imagine what they might say. this simple question can immediately clarify things and allow a right decision. What Would Jesus Do? Have you ever seen those "WWJD" pins and stickers? The WWJD stands for "What Would Jesus Do?" Some young people wear these pins as a source of guidance. yet there is confusion. or even a coffee shop.

This can include a list of problem solving techniques. caffeine is better for analytical thinking than for creative problem solving. tea. You can buy it in capsules. especially if they haven’t become a habit for you yet. 8. . You'll get the point. 5. In my experience. This is just to keep from being distracted by thirst or hunger. There is some evidence that tension in the shoulders. Gather mental materials you'll need. 9. Building your anticipation and enthusiasm creates physical changes that speed up your thought processes.") 10. Have a cup of coffee or other beverage with caffeine if this helps you. In studies. If you really don't understand the concept of brain fog. and start to identify all the little "mind irritations" you notice while doing this. maybe you will). and other personal reminders that help you. The enthusiasm won't directly transfer. stretch. This relaxes your body and mind. and sigh. it has been shown to increase blood flow to the brain. Just watch your breathing. If you have no inherent interest in the project. Avoid sugar. 7. Imagine how things will be better when you’ve succeeded.do whatever you have to do to set these distractions aside. but the increased energy and enhanced brain function it created will continue for a while. You probably won't want to take the time to do all of these things before you sit down to solve a problem (then again. try talking about something that is interesting to you just before you start working on the problem. Have water. In any case. Make notes afterwards. neck and head can decrease blood flow to the brain. 4. put things on to-do lists . It may help to clear your mind with a basic mindfulness exercise. Think about why you want to solve this problem. eat sugary cake on an empty stomach and try to do math problems twenty minutes later. Close your eyes. Ginkgo Biloba may help. This can also include a list of ways to get motivated. Stop occasionally to stand up. (This is called the "sugar blues. keep this list available so you have some quick remedies when your brain is feeling sluggish.2. or just eat a couple leaves if there is a Ginkgo tree nearby (common in parks). pay attention to your breathing. 6. and relax for three minutes. and maybe light protein snacks available (nuts are good). 3.

Of course. Carry A Recording Device Always walk with a tape recorder or other recording device if you want to solve problems and generate new ideas. When I used to write short stories. using objects you see around you. and to get more creative ideas. a walk around a nearby pond. you'll probably want to walk for twenty minutes or more. There is also something about the rhythmic nature of it that makes walking very conducive to clear thinking. and hopefully some great ideas. with my tape recorder in hand. It normally takes several minutes to get into your rhythm. Walking really works for some of us. The point is to have a device that is light and easy to use when walking. More blood pumping through your brain means more oxygen and better function. it is best to find someplace more isolated to walk. Later. Walk where it is fairly level. not on catching your breath. so you don't exert yourself too much or get out of breath. Many people report that they get their best ideas when taking a walk.) You'll at least get some good exercise. you can listen and take notes if anything useful comes from it. If you are self conscious about talking to your recorder. and just start thinking of ideas as you walk. was a sure way to get at least a dozen good ideas for new stories. . so you have at least ten minutes of "optimal thinking" time. be sure there is a tape and batteries in it before you leave. use the "random presentation" technique on your problem as you walk. You want your focus to be on your problem solving. Non-Distracting Walk Walk in a park if you can.Walk With It Walking gets the blood pumping. at home or at the office. even though much of the time you will want to hold it in your hand. Because of this. Redefine it and re-state it a few different ways. (There will be an explanation of that technique coming up. Once you start walking. Smaller is better. Record Everything Just record whatever comes to mind. dictate into the recorder what the problem is that you are working on.#11 . A Gentle. It is ideal if you can put it in your shirt pocket. or alongside a road that isn't too busy. For an interesting twist. but without the effort and stress of heavier exercise.

You can drop a problem for a while. When you are about to go to sleep. Review what ideas you’ve already had. I am sure that it has been thought of by many people in one form or another. so you can sleep. You can more easily go back to sleep if you don’t turn the light on. and I've found it very useful. preferably in a couple different ways. Incubation The technique of "incubating" ideas in the subconscious mind is used in other ways too. Does it work? Sometimes. . Even when you don't get an answer in the night. you should work on it consciously at some point during the day. or in response to some stimulus. While working on this e-book.#12 . Intense or concentrated effort for a short time is better than staring at your notes groggily for hours. or in the morning. Days later you might have an "aha" moment at any time. but only for a minute or two. To incubate an idea or problem overnight. It doesn't always work. Then consciously drop the problem. remind yourself that you are looking for solutions. because you won't need to turn on the light to leave a quick message if an idea wakes you in the middle of the night. it can help you disengage from any unproductive efforts or "thinking ruts" and start fresh. the wheels will still be turning below consciousness. but it was unknown to me until that moment. for use in the morning. This may be better. or in case of a middle-of-the-night idea. so you can hopefully get an answer by morning. and if you have been working hard on it. Alternately. but it’s one more way to get the unconscious mind working for you. Just quickly dictate your thoughts into the recorder. I woke up from a dream in which I was explaining the "add-subtract-change" problem solving technique (#2) to somebody.Sleep On It "Sleeping on it" has been a proven problem solving technique for thousands of years. keep a small tape recorder available. Have Pen and Paper Ready Have a notebook and a pen next to your bed. for example. Define the problem in your mind.

Then. One technique to train yourself for this.Lucid Dreaming Another way to solve problems while sleeping is to work on them consciously. You could even put this time to good use working on creative solutions to problems. It is also just great fun to play with when you are driving a long distance. Radio and phone could lead to a headset that is also a phone. Then you can work with them. The basic idea is to just put any two things together to see what results. as it could be useful to creative work of many types. in your dreams. you will be prompted to ask. services and inventions. As I write this. this technique is ideally suited to creating new products. Can you be conscious in your dreams? Many swear by it. my mind is running with the "phone-alarm clock" combination. or the delivery of goldfish and small pets. #13 . like they have in hotels. How do . until it is an automatic question. You may have had the experience of dreaming and realizing you were in a dream. you ask yourself. The concept of "delivery" combined with "pets" could lead to a doorto-door pet supply store. but the "concept combination" technique can be used to create endless new ideas. Great For New Inventions and Businesses Motorcycle plus ski will make most of us think of a "motor-ski" of some sort. "Phone" and "alarm clock" makes me wonder if people might pay for wake-up calls. Lucid dreamers can make this happen more or less at will. and you don’t even have to reach for your phone. but I thought I’d mention it briefly.Concept Combination Here's a fun one. with practice.” If. you can control the course of the dream to some extent. which delivers a recording of a different motivational and energizing thought each day. and change them. As you can see. The initial ideas are just the start. or waiting for a dentist appointment. is to have “trigger objects. It may not be one of the most productive ways to solve well-defined problems. then when you see a clock in a dream. and I'm imagining an automated service that wakes you up with a phone call. expand on them. The music stops when a call comes in. and to become aware that you are dreaming. while awake. “Lucid dreaming” is beyond the scope of this book. “Am I dreaming?” every time you see a clock.

A 2-foot by 6foot piece with a hole for my head. you can bring it out at parties. #14 . we'll pretend you're a city planner trying to find ways to get people to use the bus system. That was the origin of my 5-ounce sleeping bag. and tax payers complain about the cost. but since I wear it under a rain jacket. I took the idea of separating shell fabrics from insulation. and kept me warm for years. By the way. actors and anything else that is relevant. For example.Random Presentation This is another fun one to use while you are driving or sitting in a waiting room. It's fragile. Maybe you would come up with a movie set in space and filmed in the style of "The Blair Witch Project. I was sitting there thinking of ways to lighten the weight of my other backpacking gear. as a game to see who can use it to come up with the wildest new invention. it's needed by non-drivers. settings. I once bought a roll of polyester batting to make a sleeping bag. worn like a tunic. You just randomly pick an object. techniques. It is similar to the concept-combination technique. It’s important to the city. If your problem was to make an original movie. and ask what it can teach you about your problem. It’s one of the easiest techniques to learn and use. it doesn't need it's own shell material. stories." Or a western comedy done as a cartoon. but to use it to trigger any ideas that can help. To demonstrate the process. it weighed four ounces. (Aren't you glad I'm not in the movie business?) Try this technique. ." I realized I could make a very light vest using the batting. Until it reaches a certain level of use. reduces pollution by reducing the cars on the roads. When I combined the polyester insulation with the concept of "vest. Done. You aren't trying to necessarily combine the object with your problem. it can't be self-sustaining." I realized that just a shell would keep me warm if I used a pile of leaves over and under it as insulation. so I started combining things in my mind. If you get nothing else from it.600 foot glacier-covered mountain. you would start combining the genres.you use it for particular problems though? Concept Combination For Specific Problems Combine the elements of the problem with other concepts. and combined it with "sleeping bag. including at the top of a 20. but it's more open-ended.

(You can only win with the pass. as I wrote this. a tree has a strong trunk. After recording your idea. maybe even put up signs that say "This route crosses town every fifteen minutes. All of the ideas above came to me in fifteen minutes. A house. They may not be great solutions.. then you remember your "discount card" you paid for that you use at area businesses. perhaps as you drive to work. Quality comes when you develop them further. but the tree survives.You start with a tape recorder ready. Every month a couple random lucky riders win a hundred dollars when they swipe their pass through the automatic reader. The other riders see this and are encouraged to buy the passes instead of paying by the ride.. and move on. could riding the bus be fun somehow? Play music? Have a TV? You record a few ideas.. How Well Does It Work? Try it and see. Hmm. you see a swimming pool.) A cloud of smoke makes you think of ads with "before and after" photos of a city with fewer cars.. The first object you choose is a tree. which will make the non-riding taxpayers feel better about the money spent. and hopefully gets them in the habit of using the bus. You see a parking ticket on a windshield. so you let them each go after a minute. including restaurants.. and when you know more about the problem. Hmm. branches can be lost. What can a tree teach you about the problem? Hmm... You note the idea and make a note to explore the general idea of punishments and incentives further. The important point is the quantity of ideas this can produce. swimming pools are fun.. You get a few ideas and record them. I chose the objects by imagining what I would see if driving. A billboard for the lottery makes you think of having a bus-pass lottery. You next choose a restaurant.. Maybe you could talk area businesses into giving a discount when patrons show their bus passes.. a cat and a cloud give you no new ideas. . This gives you the idea that you could concentrate on the main routes (the trunk). the ticket gave the driver the option of buying a monthly bus pass? It solves their parking problem." It might be more efficient to concentrate on the primary routes and grow the others (the branches) later. The air will be clearer in the "after" photo. but then I don't know a thing about running a bus service. What if instead of a fine. and ask what it can teach you about the problem.

"It" can the problem you're trying to solve.. . as they'll sometimes trigger a thought that's more useful. #15 . For an example of the technique in action.As you use this problem solving technique. That makes you think of a better position perhaps.Idea Generating Word List For more creative solutions to problems we need to get our minds looking in new directions. but he makes $5 an hour more than you. but it could also bring you to the useful realization that you need a business instead of a job. or have more opportunity for advancement. you'll have silly ideas pop into your head. A systematic way to do this is to use a list of ideagenerating words .. "What if it was hopeless?" may seem useless. You can use this creative technique anywhere. Creative solutions can begin with unrelated thoughts. and pay you a percentage of profits. and it also doesn't pay well. Selling magazines by phone like your friend does would be more difficult. Don't dismiss them too quickly. but don't dismiss them without a few seconds of thought. why not make more money? Take notes as you do this exercise. or the situation or solution that exists at the moment.. Begin with the question. we'll pretend you want a better job. You pull out the word list and ask "What if it was." Larger. This make you realize that you have been too narrow in your search. Most words won't give you useful ideas. Farther away. but be open to your ideas for increasing sales. "What if it was. If you hate the job anyway. where you might be paid more. You aren't satisfied with the work.. The problem could be smaller if you got a raise. Maybe a smaller store would pay even less per hour.primarily adjectives . and that you are a clerk at a bookstore. It also makes you think of a larger store. and develop the ideas later. It could be worth driving a little to get a better higher-paying job. and it's great for putting driving time to good use. Maybe it's even time to move to another town." and insert a word from the list. Closer. Could you get a job nearby and sell your car? The money saved would be like a large raise.to create "what if?" scenarios. More difficult. and found a few ways to make the work more interesting. Smaller.

but remember that there are hundreds of idea-generating words you could add to it.. Any adjectives. or words that can change your perspective can be potentially useful.. larger smaller farther away closer sooner later easier more difficult softer harder poorer richer wetter drier higher lower longer shorter white black certain uncertain newer older calmer more exciting boring interesting more casual more serious divided combined subtle extravagant more common less common faster . descriptive phrases.The "What If" Word List The list here is a basic one. What if it was. Use it as is.

To demonstrate this technique. and closing costs when selling the homes. You have a large company. you make a note to research cheap building materials.slower better worse hotter colder added to subtracted from left alone hopeless stickier happier relaxed imaginary cheaper more expensive nothing #16 . to see how much a foundation funded by your . and also make a note to check into FHA "gifting" rules. You note the idea. interest rates. paving costs. Their wages could be paid at closing. land costs. then assign tasks to yourself and others. You also want to make a lot of money pretend you're a builder and and you want to put up a development so anyone can afford to buy a home. One of the surest way to solve them without getting overwhelmed. Some of these might be: material costs. You consider cutting waste with more efficient procedures." This is as simple as listing all the various elements of your problem. For material costs. is to solve these smaller problems . towards the down payment. You start with a list of all the factors involved. we'll developer.the "parts.Solve The Parts Problems are often really collections of smaller problems. down payments. Interest rates seem to be out of your control. The down payment problem and the labor problems might be helped by letting buyers work on their new homes. which means less spent on materials and on hauling away the waste. Maybe you can pay the mortgage insurance or "points" for buyers to get the rates lower. and then applying any of the techniques here to find solutions for each of these. with the cheapest housing ever seen. doing it. You work on ideas for each of these. but you make a note to see if a bank will reduce the interest rates if you send most of the buyers to them. labor costs.

Let It Incubate This is just the "sleep on it" technique on a longer time scale. finding ways to solve a hundred parts of the problem can be more productive than looking for a "big" or "radical" solution. we'll assume you are a lawmaker. Think of several new ideas for preventing crime. List the most effective police forces and what they do. 3. Work on the problem intensely. isn't necessary. You also make a note to see if the bank providing the financing will forgo the appraisal on most of the homes if they are all almost identical. Our minds work on things below consciousness all the time. For land.) 1. you decide to look into the cheapest useable land. by the way. Paving driveways. . setting aside almost all other criteria. Buyers can pave them later when they have the money. you decide. To reduce closing costs. This clues the subconscious in to the fact that this is an important matter. You also make a note to check into the smallest lot size allowed by the township. Even if it isn't for a long time. #17 . Consider how individuals can be prevented from becoming criminals. Try to get all the facts and figures necessary to understand and solve the problem you're working on.company can give a buyer towards a down payment. Gather lots of information. To make them work more productively. Which crimes are most common? Where are they most common? Which crimes are most destructive of civil society? What do most criminals have in common? What measures have previously reduced crime? 2. try the following: (As an example. This technique is ideally suited to personal problems. Imagine where you would be if you "solved" one bad habit every month for a couple years. In the end. and you want to work on the problem of reducing crime. you note that your lawyer might discount for a large volume of easy and similar closings. You make a note to look into these later add-ons as another profit source. Explain the problem to yourself. try to really concentrate on the problem.

Occasionally." might also be seen as "protecting individuals for criminals. For an example of how to use Google to find new solutions. Even if you don't. How do we spend less? I just typed "cheap medical care" into Google. In a larger context. MSN will display quite a few different results than Google. . we'll start with the problem of expensive medical care. #18 . Just drop the whole thing for a few days or even a few weeks." and "getting rid of criminals. "Okay. so it can be approached from different perspectives. "Westerners Seek Cheap Medical Care in reminds me that dental care is 70% cheaper in Mexico. but it has become so useful that it deserves consideration as it's own technique." where thieves are trained for civil life.Define it in your mind as you do this. Maybe there is something to be learned there. Things you have seen or heard about in the meantime have been making connections with the ideas in your unconscious mind. and redefine it. of course. you'll have new ideas." means to look for information on something using the Google search engine. First Browse For Ideas The first Asia. you'll often find that when you do start working on the idea again. Tell your mind to go to work. go to work on this problem now. To "google it. "Preventing crime. A documentary you saw about a summer camp might resurface as an idea for a "penal camp. I need a solution soon." 5. you may even get that "AHA!" inspiration. with a doubled jail sentence awaiting if they fail." It two hours why it is result was an article. If you follow this routine. say to yourself. Literally. Do something else.Google It This is a quick way to gather information." 4. Use other search engines too. it makes me want to see so cheap. less than from where we live. you may get ideas popping into your head as the days go by.

Just ask several people for their ideas about your problem. It always helped me to refine my own criteria. including airfare to Bombay.000 and a six. #19 . Use search engines as personal brainstorming tools. but this isn't necessarily true.Ask People This is in some ways an obvious technique. I was never thrilled by the businesses they told me about.000 and have it done sooner. He was told it would be $35. he had it done in India for a third of that. Then Dig Deeper After you get a few ideas. After the initial search. That could be a real money saver. but I also could have explored "insurance. Instead. I used to ask people what type of business they would start if they were ready to start one. that helped me choose an internet business. Now that's a solution! Save over $20. I find that it's about a retired Oregon apple farmer who doesn’t have insurance. . I start to think of a business based on charter flights to the best surgical centers of India. You might think that you have to ask people who know something about the topic.month wait for surgery on his torn knee ligaments. and in letting you clarify the problem." The ad for prescriptions and supplements had me thinking about how much I could save if I ate well and never needed medical care.Another result is for a medical supply company. I clicked through to the article. Right away. dig deeper. and for new ideas. I recall selling some crutches at a rummage sale once. When I actually click through to the article on medical care in Asia. and wonder where things like wheelchairs can be bought used. In the end. but the reasons they chose this or that business were instructive. An ad for low cost insurance plans makes me wonder how many ways there are to save on medical insurance. Much of the value of asking others is in getting a new perspective. Would you like a seat on the heart surgery express? Half price for heart surgery! Use the search engines for information on how others have solved your problem.

and you can find more workable solutions.An Example Suppose you are developing a new video game. NASA. Over-Simplifying It is common to over-simplify solutions to problems too. though. It's easy to understand this rule from mathematics. spent years and millions of dollars to develop a pen that would function in zero-gravity. but we sometimes forget to apply it in our problem solving. You see. You possibly get solutions and ideas. but don't limit yourself to that. I think I would have to learn something from it or feel that it was truly good for my brainpower. by the way. The soviets just used pencils . I find video games to be boring. Doing so can also help you if your ego is getting in the way of solving the problem. Any ideas? Basically.” #20 . Talking to regular players is one place to start. and a waste of time. You get other perspectives. tedious. Another benefit of asking others. as when we cling to solutions just because they are “ours. 2.Simplify-Complicate Simplify a problem and it is easier to find solutions. you get three things when you talk about your problem with others: 1. Do both. I've never thought about what would motivate me to buy a video game until now. The . You clarify your own thinking by explaining it. and you get the best of both. people love to be asked for their opinions and ideas.the straight line approach. Ask people who don't play video games why they don't. and what would motivate them to. Complicate a problem. That is more likely to get you some new ideas. for example. or rather recognize the true complexity already there. Over-Complicating The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. 3. is that they will be more helpful to you in the future.

For an example. How To Simplify and Complicate Your Way To A Solution To use the simplify-complicate technique. for example. Copy The Success Of Others If you want to open the first vegetarian self-serve restaurant in your . The solution fails in this respect. He's tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck. but he wants to eventually be less dependent on his job. of course other factors that are involved. the Saturdays he doesn't work will be devoted to researching those income possibilities. He realizes that what he needs is some type of investment or business income. and then adapt the "simple" solution to the more complex reality afterwards. In the meantime. but the time and money just weren't there. which we will get to in a moment.straight-line simple solution to losing weight is to eat less. The simple solution is to work at his present job on Saturdays. and set aside the income from those days for a future business or investment. sometimes easy. he hopes to someday have enough income from other sources to leave the job altogether. He decides to work Saturdays when he can. Simplify. and he can get a Saturday shift most weeks. and realizes that he not only wants more income. #21 . Then work it both ways. if they don't also consider the complicating factors of body-type. to see what ideas you get. This solves the simplified problem. Just do what others have done with a similar problem. we'll say that Jack wants to use his Saturdays to make more income. He likes the idea of getting paid time-and-a-half. There are. That will fail as a solution for most people. Then he looks at the problem again. Now it occurs to him that he can use the simple solution to arrive at a better long-term solution. complicate.Do What Others Have Done Perhaps this is the most obvious and easiest way to solve problems. motivation and unconscious thoughts. then. though. In fact. Obvious. you want to define a problem in simple terms and also define it more fully. nutrition. and get the best of both. He had thought about a business or real estate investing before. and also very effective. You can also simplify it.

Starting with what has worked is a good start. Often. is a metaphor. At that point you can take a good idea and make it even better and more creative. To improve your chess game. Copy at first. ask about what he was thinking when he made certain moves. so you can learn to think the same way. #22 . but she could also just talk to friends with kids that do their homework. to see what they are doing right. but which ones? Find the nearest chess master and ask him which ones he has read." or . you could read books. people really don’t know what the true reasons for their success is. Once you understand better why something works. but more importantly. and not what they SAY. she can watch to see what they actually do. it might be tough to find another in the entire state that you can learn from. Watch what they DO.Metaphorical Analysis Metaphors are powerful tools for understanding things. suppose that Mary can't get her children to do their homework. you can find other "new concept" restaurants that have opened in town. you can isolate those elements that are necessary. Copy . Albert Einstein started out learning how to add and subtract. Books about child rearing may help. This idea isn't limited to stores and restaurants. Be careful about advice from successful people in any field. but doesn't have to be the end of the process. and those that are not. and anything else relevant. how they knew there was a market. For another example. However.Then Modify Want more creative solutions? Modify what you learn from others. Just find what has worked for others. Watch him to see what he actually does to prepare for a game. Find out how they marketed their new idea. She can ask them how they have raised their kids. I could have said "way of understanding things. Franchises are so consistently successful because each new owner is copying a formula that has worked many times before. just like everyone else. how much rent they pay. You can do the same with anything from problems of theoretical physics to relationship issues. If he'll review one or more of his games with you.town." of course. "Tools. It just increases the probabilities that your solution will be a good one. and modify it only as much as you need to for your particular circumstances. of course.

Selling is a business. It's talking. It's a decoration.” Then he lists some metaphors for the activity of swimming. or look for other customers to contract with. It's a deathtrap." you'll think about your job in a certain way. most creative selection of ideas? An example." You can raise your prices." Finally. Why not use as many as you can think of. "Oasis" gives him ideas for creating a tropical environment as part of the pool. It is a park. He starts with his pen and paper. and you'll get some ideas. then your "boss" becomes just a "customer. and you'll get different ideas. Then he lists some metaphors for selling. It's a personal lake. "Therapy" gives him some marketing ideas for older customers. It is teaching. It's playing. It's showing. liquor bars and other ways to make a pool seem "rich. If you’re a "business. to see what ideas they produce: As a "toy. Mike wants to design." "Deathtrap" reminds him to make it safe. It's a contest. It's therapy. As a "status symbol. It's an oasis. It's entertainment. An "associate. Use this power of metaphors to solve problems more creatively."method. It's sharing." Each word or expression conveys a slightly different meaning. A pool is a playground. It's a job. "Vacationing" Makes him wonder if more visual separation from the house would make the swimming "vacation" more relaxing. ." might feel more important and think differently about his duties." Mike considers brass railings. change your service. It's advertising. and gets you thinking in different ways. The Power Of Metaphors Use a metaphor to solve a problem. If you’re an "employee. and he imagines an alarm system triggered if a child enters the pool without supervision. and writes down as many metaphors as he can." pools for kids come to mind. to get the widest. Use another. A pool is a status symbol. It's vacationing." selling your labor. Swimming as "exercising" has him thinking of pools with a current. Mike works with each metaphor. It's an aquatic gym. Swimming is exercising. “A swimming pool is a toy. build and sell a new type of swimming pool.

"I just don't want to pay for a place to live!" Now he's getting creative. Some hotels and apartment buildings give free rent in exchange for management. of course. As you can see." is the first definition he writes on the paper." This makes him realize that he really wouldn't mind the rent if he made more money. Moving to a smaller apartment or one further away comes to mind. maintenance or other duties. the application of new metaphors isn't limited to the original concept. Maybe he could focus his efforts there. "Talking" makes him ask "Who will do the talking?" and leads to the idea of distributing videos to sell his pools. but he's willing to do what he has to. "Rent is too high. of course. "I don't want to be a renter" makes him think of buying a house. He also remembers seeing an RV for sale cheap. He jots down some possibilities. He doesn't have much money saved. He wonders if mobile homes rent for less. and note the ideas you get when using each. After a few notes he moves on. in the above example). He makes a note to explore low down payment housing options. Break a problem into a few components (the pool.Selling the pools is a business.Redefine It This is a powerful problem assumptions. "Rent takes too big a percentage of my income. It can be used on any part of the problem as well. It helps you to challenge new perspectives. like free "pool parties" during summer. to Use pen and paper for this solving technique. he notes. You just have to keep see what ideas come from each new definition. He remembers that a friend is renting out a room in his house. We'll pretend that John is tired of his expensive apartment rent and wants a solution. because these might be cheaper. and gives you redefining the problem. We'll use a common "life" problem to demonstrate the technique. swimming and selling. "Showing" generates several ideas for ways to display his pools. one. "Apartments are expensive" is his second definition. find as many metaphors as you can for each. He also remembers his friend mentioning that the rooms he rents in his house pay all the . but "teaching" has Mike thinking of ways to educate customers about the benefits of swimming. #23 .

b. "My rent is too much for me to handle" makes him realize that the landlord once said it was okay to have two people live in the apartment. The connections will mean that there will eventually be lines going all over. 2. Our thinking is in pictures. We speak in a very linear fashion. however jump all over. with one word at a time leading logically from one thought to the next. you write these down. Work with each definition a little. #24 . Maybe he could do the same. Be Playful As ideas come to you. Our thinking goes off on tangents when there is reason to. As you think about the components of the problem. Define the problem as many ways as you can. radiating out from the center. words. That’s okay. To use mind mapping for problem solving. and the more creative right side." Working The Way Our Minds Do Our minds. and c. Mind mapping recognizes and uses this natural way of thinking. and even sensations.expenses. write the main problem or concept in the middle of a sheet of paper. just write them near the most appropriate component. Connect things with lines wherever you want. Develop you ideas further and follow up on them.Mind Mapping Mind mapping organizes our thoughts on paper in a way that is closer to our natural thinking process. This exercise isn’t about neatness. gathering input from the analytical left side of the brain. Three Simple Steps 1. depending on the relationship between two components. We make outlines with "Item number 1. Make doodles and drawings too. 3. Add colors and you may remember ideas . followed by a. He could split the rent.

or underline. Be very open to silly ideas and thoughts. some techniques really are better suited to certain types of problems than others. Then start another mind map for that idea. like "see page 2" next to it. Here are what I consider to be the top three techniques for various types of problems: _____ Creating New Services And Products #1 Assumption Challenging #2 Add-Subtract-Change #13 Concept Combination _____ Personal Problems #11 Walk With It #1 Assumption Challenging #9 Imaginary Friends _____ Business Ideas #1 Assumption Challenging #13 Concept Combination #21 Do What Others Have Done _____ Personal Money Problems #1 Assumption Challenging . Finding The Best Technique For The Problem How do you know which technique is best for your problem? You could just try them all. If an idea starts to produce many thoughts and other ideas. That will certainly give you a lot of new ideas. Later. However. You can use different colors to indicate the importance of each idea too. Just write them down. put a note. The whole mind mapping process should be somewhat playful.better. you can get more analytical about digging out the gems and polishing them. or do anything else that “feels” right. Use stars.

#21 Do What Others Have Done #4 Assume The Absurd _____ Scientific Questions #7 Change Of Perspective #8 Knowledge Gathering #22 Metaphorical Analysis _____ Logic And Mathematics #10 Mind Preparation #23 Redefine It #12 Sleep On It _____ Puzzles #1 Assumption Challenging #6 Creactivity #23 Redefine It _____ Relationship Problems #7 Change Of Perspective #19 Ask People #20 Simplify-Complicate _____ Philosophical Questions #1 Assumption Challenging #22 Metaphorical Analysis #7 Change Of Perspective _____ Poorly Defined Problems #23 Redefine It #24 Mind Mapping #6 Creactivity .

improve your memory._____ Whatever "type" of problem you are working on. 24 Creative Problem Solving Techniques Copyright 2005 Steve Gillman If you haven't already.com (The End) .ProblemSolving101. and you'll have a powerful creative problem solving machine.com To increase your brainpower. As you use a given technique often enough. and think more clearly. it will become a habit. Train your mind to use several. Remember too. You'll be using it unconsciously and automatically. with an open mind you can use almost any technique to get some new insight or idea. go get your free creative problem solving course at: http://www.IncreaseBrainPower. that the best technique for solving any problem is the one that works best for you. visit: http://www. Use the best ones for the type of problem you have then. but don't forget the others.