4 Steps to Approach Innovation and Creative Problem Solving

road-sign-63983_1280 So you have a problem, now what? There is so much out there on innovation, design thinking, and creative problem solving, it’s hard to know where to start. In previous posts we’ve reviewed that you are creative, and where ideas come from. But how do you go from problem, to ideas, to actual solution? We’ve taken pieces from some of the best design thinking and creative problem solving resources to create the following four steps: Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 10.24.27 AM

  1. Determine if it’s a Design Challenge:
    1. Are people involved who have the ability to influence the situation?
    2. Does it require imagination?
    3. Is it important enough to drive interest?
    4. Is it immediate?
    5. Can it be framed in human terms, rather than technology, products, services, etc.?
    6. Is it broad enough to discover unexpected value?
    7. Is it narrow enough to be manageable?
  2. Assess, Research, and Immerse (Inspiration):
    1. Assess the situation gaining a firm understanding of the current state
    2. Research the subject, gain insights from various sources to ensure you are looking at different angles
    3. Immerse yourself in the problem and begin to explore the vision for the future
    4. Reach roadblocks and allow incubation in the unconscious mind
  3. Go Big then Get Specific (Ideation):Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 4.04.38 PM
    1. Brainstorm, using divergent thinking first, expanding on ideas, go for quantity over quality
    2. Converge, look for ways to combine ideas, build on ideas, and narrow ideas, coming to an illuminating insight
  4. Put the Wheels in Motion (Implementation):
    1. Explore acceptance of the solution – prototype, market research
    2. Create a roll-out plan – roadmap for launch, follow-up, changes, etc.

Depending on the project that you are working on will determine the time-frame to go through this process. For more information, a few great resources are:

  • http://www.ideo.com
  • “The Four Lenses of Innovation” – Rowan Gibson
  • “Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers” – Jeanne Liedtka
  • “Creative Leadership: Skills That Drive Change” -Gerard J. Puccio, Marie Mance and Mary C. Murdock

This is the final in a series of 6 posts to help you and your business embrace innovation and creativity in your culture. Mind Set Grow is a business consulting company specializing in leadership development, creative problem solving strategy and coaching. For more information go to our full website at http://www.mindsetgrow.ca

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