You are on page 1of 10

CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES FOR BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS

Brainstorming

This is probably the most well-known and widely used techniques for both creative problem
solving and idea generation. Brainstorming can generate ideas about a problem within a
limited time frame through the spontaneous contribution of participants.

An effective approach to brainstorming is to starts with a problem statement that is neither
two broad nor too narrow. Once the problem statement is clear, a minimum of six and a
maximum of twelve individuals are selected to participate.

As a guiding rule, no group member should be recognized as expert in the field of the
problem. Every idea, no matter how illogical must be recorded and analyzed.

Reverse Brainstorming

This is a group method for obtaining new ideas while focusing on the negatives. In reverse
brainstorming criticism is allowed as against the brainstorming approach.

The technique is based on finding fault by asking the question “in how many ways can this
idea fail”. With the fact that it focuses on the negative aspects of a product or service, the
group’s morale must be maintained in the right direction.

This approach can be effectively used before other creative techniques to stimulate
innovative thinking.

This method produces some worthwhile results as it is easier for an individual to be critical
about an idea than to come up with a new idea.

Brainwriting

This is a form of written brainstorming. Brainwriting differs from the classical brainstorming
by giving participants more time to think than in brainstorming session, where ideas are
expressed spontaneously.

It is a silent, written generation of ideas by a group of people. The participants write their
ideas on a special card, which circulates within the group (usually six members).

Each group member generates and writes down three ideas during a five-minute period. The
card is passed on to the adjacent person, who writes down three new ideas and so on, until
each form has passed all participants.

A moderator or group leader monitor the time intervals and can reduce or increase the time
given to participants with respect to the needs of the group.

a list of the best ideas is developed. Participants are expected to consider the problem and its possible solutions recording ideas at least once or three times daily. The Gordon Method The Gordon method involves developing new ideas when the individuals are unaware of the problem. This technique is helpful in developing an entirely new angle to a problem.A variation of this idea-generation method is that participants are located at their respective work-place. The entrepreneur uses a list of questions or statements to guide the direction of developing entirely new ideas or focusing on specific idea areas. a small notebook that easily fits in a pocket containing a statement of the problem. At the end of the week. . then another and another. blank pages and any pertinent background data is distributed to participants. Checklist Method In this method. Collective Notebook Method In the collective notebook method. finally creating a chain of ideas ending with the new product idea merging. The process involve a word or phrase relating to the problem being written down. Each participant now submits their notebooks to a central coordinator who summarizes all the materials and lists the ideas in order of frequency of mention. together with any suggestions. This implies that group members do not know the exact nature of the problem. Free Association Free association is a method of developing new idea through a chain of word association. in this case the interval can be longer. a new idea is developed through a list of related issues or suggestions. This is the simplest yet most effective method that an entrepreneur can employ. The summary thereafter becomes the topic of a final creative focus group discussion by the group participants. separated by distance and the card are rotated by e-mail. with each new word attempting to add a new idea to the ongoing thought processes.

Through this method. Attribute Listing Attribute listing is an idea-finding technique that requires entrepreneurs to list the attributes of an item or problem and then look at each from different perspectives. . Establish relationships between these elements. . Record the relationships in an orderly manner. enabling the group to make suggestion for the implementation or refinement of the final solution.The entrepreneur begins by mentioning a general concept associated with the problem. At last the actual problem is revealed. every possibility is recorded and investigated or the resources required documented. . . originally unrelated objects can be brought together to form a new combination and possible new uses that better satisfy a need. Analyze the emerging relationship to find ideas or pattern. In this approach. Isolation of elements of the problem. Big-Dream Approach Here the entrepreneur dreams about the problem and its solution. The new combination and eventual concept emerged through a five step process given below . The group thereafter responds by expressing a number of ideas. . Forced Relationship This is a process of forcing relationship among some product combinations and their features. Develop new idea from these patterns. This can then lead to a concept being developed. He or she thinks big. It is a technique that asks questions about objects or ideas in an effort to develop a new idea. followed by related concept through guidance by the entrepreneur. To the entrepreneur idea are conceptualized without any constraint until an idea is developed into a workable form.

Parameter Analysis This is a method of developing new idea by focusing on parameter identification and creative synthesis. For a new product or services area. yet there are times that a good idea emerges. For this approach to be successful there should be no negative comment or criticism. This has a greater frequency of occurrence when the brainstorming effort focuses on a specific product or market area. Most of the ideas generated from the group have no basis for further development. the wider the idea. The group is stimulated by comments from other group members in creatively conceptualizing and developing a new product or service to fill a market need. Existing company can use this method to expand a section or department to be able to achieve greater productivity in its services.In summary. These variables thereafter become the focus of the investigation with other variables being set aside. the moderator focuses the discussion of the group in either a directive or non-directive manner. quantity of ideas should be encouraged. A moderator leads the group of about 8 to 14 participants through an open. Brainstorming The brainstorming method allows a group of individual to be stimulated to greater creativity by interacting with each other and participating in organized group experience. The focus group is an excellent approach for initially screening ideas and concepts. . the better and combinations and improvements of ideas are encouraged. attribute listing refers to a method of developing a new idea by looking at the positives and negatives. Parameter identification involves the analysis of variables contained in the situation to determine their relative importance. METHODS OF GENERATING BUSINESS IDEAS Focus Groups A focus group is defined as a group of individuals providing information in a structured format. in-depth discussion rather than simply asking questions to solicit participants’ responses.

The meaning and definition of innovation could be viewed in different angles. Result from product inventory analysis must be carefully evaluated as they may actually reflect a new business opportunity. Problem Inventory Analysis Problem inventory analysis is a method for obtaining new ideas and solutions by focusing on existing problems. The primary origin of opportunity evolution is from the knowledge and experience of the individual entrepreneur and the knowledge of the business itself. RECOGNITION OF BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES A business opportunity represents a possibility for the entrepreneur to successfully fill a large enough unsatisfied need that can result to enough sales and profits. This knowledge is a combination of education and relevant experience. Other factors responsible for the recognition of a business opportunity are entrepreneurial alertness. Every successful entrepreneur who stands the test of time must have used the weapon of innovation. When known product or services are related to suggested problems. INNOVATION IN BUSINESS Innovation is one key factor for successful entrepreneurship. In this approach. As an entrepreneur the desire to use those experiences is crucial. they are asked to identify and discuss product in each category that have a particular problem. entrepreneur’s prior knowledge of markets and customer problems and entrepreneur’s networks. it is advisable that problem inventory analysis should be used primarily to identify new product ideas from existing product before further evaluation. For maximal result. Thereafter.Many modern commercial banks successfully used brainstorming techniques to develop a series of product for their clients or customers. the customers or consumers are provided with a list of problems in a general product category. a new product idea emerges. The ability to recognize a business opportunity is one fundamental quality of a successful entrepreneur and for a growing business. This method is effective when an improved service/product is desired. These experiences could be related or unrelated or could result from a variety of personal experience or event. .

relevant. and can also exist in a new way of handling a commodity commercially. Innovation typically involves creativity. is a management process that requires specific tools.  The conquest of a new source of supply of raw materials or half-manufactured goods. "Innovation. but is not identical to it.  The introduction of a new method of production. compete and differentiate themselves successfully in their marketplace. or services.  The carrying out of the new organization of any industry. services. or synthesis of knowledge in original. resulting for example in new or altered business processes within the organization. For innovation to occur. Innovation involves acting on the creative ideas to make some specific and tangible difference in the domain in which the innovation occurs. In this view. which need by no means be founded upon a discovery scientifically new. For example. in order to advance. It is the embodiment. (1996) propose: "All innovation begins with creative ideas. According to Baregheh et al."Innovation is generally understood as the successful introduction of a new thing or method. (2009): "Innovation is the multi-stage process whereby organizations transform ideas into new/improved products. the first is necessary but not sufficient condition for the second". like many business functions. combination. defined economic innovation as:  The introduction of a new good: that is one with which consumers are not yet familiar or of a new quality of a good. or changes in the products and services provided.  The opening of a new market: that is a market into which the particular branch of manufacture of the country in question has not previously entered. creativity by individuals and teams is a starting point for innovation. We define innovation as the successful implementation of creative ideas within an organization. . like the creation of a monopoly position or the breaking up of a monopoly position. according to Luecke and Katz (2003). Amabile et al. something more than the generation of a creative idea or insight is required: the insight must be put into action to make a genuine difference.In organizations. rules and discipline. As an economic conception." From this point of view emphasis is moved from the introduction of specific novel and useful ideas to the general organizational processes and procedures for generating. service or processes. or internal processes. again irrespective of whether this source already exists or whether it has first to be created. considering and acting on such insights leading to significant organizational improvements in terms of improved or new business products. valued new products. whether or not this market has existed before. processes. Schumpeter (1934).

merits. These criteria should be broad. This techniqu e can be used to determine which new products should be pursued. concept stage. and personnel should be determined. and benefits. Establishing evaluation criteria At each stage of product planning and development process. and the overall market structure and characteristics. One method of testing is the conversational interview in which respondents are exposed to statements that reflect attributes of the product. each new product idea is expressed in terms of its chief values. In the systematic market evaluation checklist method. pric es. Concept Stage In the concept stage the refined idea is tested to determine consumer acceptance without manufacturing it. In determining the product's value to the firm. The relative advantages of the new product versus competitors should be determined. Criteria should be developed to evaluate the new product in terms of market opportunity. Entrepreneurs should formally evaluate an idea throughout its evolution. yet quantitative enough to screen the product carefully in the particular stage of development. Current competing producers. The company should also determine the need for the new product and its value to the company. financial factors and production factors. its timing. it result in the product life cycle. This refining process. The product should be able to be supported by and contribute to the company's financial structure. test marketing stage and commercializing. competition the marketing system. and policies should be evaluated in their impact on market share. A market opportunity and adequate market demand must exist. price. they need further development and refinement in to final product or service to be offered. Features. machinery.PRODUCT PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROCESS Once idea emerges from idea sources or creative problem solving. product development stage. Idea Stage Promising new product ideas should be identified and impractical ones eliminated in the idea stage allowing maximum use of company's resources. the importance of marketing variables. . Need determination should focus on the type of need.the product planning and development process is divided in to five major stages. and promotion should be evaluated in comparison to major competitors to indicate deficiencies or benefits. The compatibility of new product's production requirements with existing plant. financial scheduling should be evaluated. Idea stage. criteria for evaluation need to be established. the users involved. The new product should be compatible with existing management capabilities.

making the product more:  efficient. personal computer. often through a consumer panel. Test Marketing Stage Although the results of product development stage provide the basis of the final marketing plan. Examples include jet plane. Participants keep the record of their use of product and comment on its virtues and deficiencies. They often establish the platform on which future innovation in an area are developed. the test marketing stage. The panel can be given samples of the product and competitors' products to determine consumer preference. the air plane and the internet. Breakthrough innovations include such ideas as the computer. Technological Innovation Technological innovation are in general not at the same level as scientific discovery. The panel of consumers is also given a sample of product and one or more competitive product simultaneously. consumer reaction is determined. Ordinary Innovation This type of innovation occurs most frequently. whereas the other test product is new. Product Development Stage In this stage. the market test can be done to increase the certainty of successful commercialization. but they create technological advancement in product and market areas. Ordinary innovation comes from market analysis and they extend a technological innovation into a better product or service or one that has a different. voice and text messaging. The last step in the evaluation process. One test product may already be on the market. One unique characteristics of ordinary innovation is that the market has a stronger effect on the innovation (market pull) than the technology (technology pull) Areas of Innovation in Business includes: Product improvement: Continuous improvements. usually a better market appeal. effective  leveraging existing core technology  useful or user friendly . They are usually very few. provides actual sales results which indicate the acceptance level TYPES OF INNOVATIONS IN BUSINESS Breakthrough Innovation Breakthrough innovations are innovation that leads to major scientific breakthrough.

or systems  valuable to users Process improvement: Make processes:  simpler  faster  more accurate  more reliable  less expensive  more integrated New business models: Restructure the nature of how business is done to serve the customer better and  make it easier to do business  create more integrated products and services  devise better ways to be profitable  use resources in a new way Market extension: Develop new products and services to:  support Existing Customers  Market Bases who buy our current products  facilitate product/technological adoption and create value from usage  introduce new services & value streams Socio-organizational: Design new human relationships to:  increase results (strategic alliances & value networks)  reorient or restructure human interaction (Facebook. diversity of thought) .  integrated with other products. employee ownership. technologies.

 enable people to interact differently with technology .