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CreativeProblemSolving(CPS):The5MinuteGuide

WhatisCreativeProblemSolving?
CPSisastructuredprocessforsolvingproblemsor
findingopportunities,usedwhenyouwanttogo
beyondconventionalthinkingandarriveatcreative
(novelanduseful)solutions.
Akeypoint:althoughtheprocessisdepictedaslinear,
inpracticeitismoreorganic.Dependingonthe
situation,youmaynotuseallthestages,andmaynot
usethemintheordershown.

Facilitate
Goalofthisstage:atthebeginningoftheprocess,todeterminetheproblemspaceyouareworkingin;throughouttheprocess,tomake
processdecisions.
Description:ametaprocessstepusedthroughoutCPStomakeprocessrelateddecisions:wheretoenter,whichtoolstouse,andwhento
movetothenextstep.Thisoversightistheresponsibilityoftheproblem'sownerandtheCPSfacilitator,whoisusuallyaneutralthirdparty.
Usefultools:SWOT(Strengths,Weaknesses,Opportunities,Strengths),oranydiagnostictool.
ImaginetheFuture
Attheendofthisstage:youwillhavecreatedabroad,brief,beneficialstatementbeginningwith"Iwish..."or"Wouldn'titbegreatif...".
Description:thisstagedefinesadesiredfuturecondition,andsetsthestageforclarifyingtheproblem.
Usefultools:Brainstorming,Brainwriting,WebofAbstraction,andExcursionsfordivergentthinking;Hits,Clustering,andRestatingClusters
forconvergentthinking.
FindtheQuestions
Attheendofthisstage:youwillhaveidentifiedoneormoreproblemsyouwishtoworkon,intheformofconciseproblemstatements
thatbeginwith"Howto...","Howmight...","Inwhatwaysmight...",and"Whatmightbeallthe...."
Description:identifytheproblemsthatmustbesolvedifyouaretorealizethegoal/wish/challengeidentifiedinpreviousstage.
Usefultools:Brainstorming,Brainwriting,WebofAbstraction,andWordDancefordivergentthinking;Hits,Clustering,andRestatingClusters
forconvergentthinking.
GenerateIdeas
Attheendofthisstage:youwillhavegeneratedmanyideasthatwouldsolvetheproblemsidentifiedinthepreviousstage,andyouwould
haveselectedthosethatareworthcarryingforward.
Description:imaginemanysolutions,alternatives,andopportunitiesfortheproblemstatementyouselectedinthepreviousstep.Then,
evaluate,judge,strengthen,andfinallydecidewhichtocarryforward.
Usefultools:IdeaBox,Brainwriting,Brainstorming,SCAMPER,ForcedConnections,VisualConnections,andExcursionsfordivergentthinking;
Hits,Clustering,andRestatingClustersforconvergentthinking.
CraftSolutions
Attheendofthisstage:youwillhaverefinedanddecidedonthesolution(s)youwillimplement.Oneway:createasolutionstatement,an
extendeddescriptionofwhatyouplantodo,thatbeginswith:"WhatIseemyself(us)doingis...".
Description:Aftergeneratingideasinthepreviousstep,youwillhaveoneormoreideasthatyouwishtopursue.Inthisstep,youselectthe
onesyouhavethetimeareresourcestopursue,andyoustrengthenthemyoumakethembetter.
Usefultools:whenstrengthening,anydivergentthinkingtools(seeGeneratingIdeas);whenevaluating,POINt,CardSort,EvaluationMatrix,
andPairedComparisonAnalysisforconvergentthinking.
ExploreAcceptance
Attheendofthisstage:youwillhaveidentifiedthosewhowillassistyoursolution,thosewhowillresist,andwhattodowitheach.
Description:Makealistofpeopleandgroupswhowillassistyou,thengenerateideasforhowtheycanhelpyouadvanceyoursolution.Make
alistofpeopleandgroupswhowillresistyoursolution,thengenerateideasforhowyoucanovercomeormitigatetheresistance.
PlanforAction
Attheendofthisstage:youwillhavecreatedanactionplanthatidentifieswhatistobedone,bywhen,andbywhom.
Description:createanactionplanthatidentifiesthediscreteandconcretestepsyouwillfollow,andwhoisinvolvedintheimplementation.
Usefultool:RACIchart,whichliststheactionstepsand,foreachstep,thepersonResponsibletodoit;thepersonwhoisAccountableforit
beingdone;theperson(s)whocanbeConsultedforhelpandguidance;andtheperson(s)whoneedtobeInformedwhendone.

CreativeProblemSolving(CPS):The5MinuteGuide
OmniSkills,LLComniskills.com/cpsorcreativeproblemsolving.com