Every problem has a solution and all you need to do is equip yourself with a fine-tuned ability to think creatively. Creative problem solving requires a little more imagination than your standard rational problem solving methods. It requires you to see a problem in a completely different light.
Here’s a good exercise that you can practice with your troops:
Pose a possible problem.
Everyone take a piece of paper and write the first word that comes to their mind. Write that word at the center of the paper. Focus on that word for about two to three seconds and then write down the two words that first pop out the top of your head after focusing on the first word. Continue the exercise until you are able to build a tree of connected words.
After warming up, you can then focus on solving the problem you have at hand. Here are some pointers to get you in the frame of mind to solve problems creatively.
Forget about assumptions you’ve made. Remove all preconceived notions you have or the assumptions you’ve made about the problem in order to open up your mind to new ideas. You do not have to throw away everything you know (in fact its best you keep a list of the things you know), but for a few minutes you can allow yourself to think outside the box.
When you have freed up your mind you can allow yourself to get to know your problem once again, ideally in a different light, and pay close attention to the minutest details involved—the who’s, what’s, why’s and when’s. You can break down the problem into different parts and dissect each part. This way, you will be more capable of seeing loopholes in the most unlikely areas of the problem. You can address these loopholes and perhaps the problem in the long run.
Take notes. Make notes of the assumptions you have made about the problem and review them accordingly. As you progress in your creative problem solving, you might find inconsistent assumptions. Scratch invalid ones to make decision making and finding a solution easier and more precise.
Listen to other people’s ideas. Two heads are better than one. Be receptive of other people’s ideas because the answer could be just a few improvements from other people’s ideas.
Lastly, be patient and persevering. Always remember that enlightenment does not always come as swiftly as we want it too and that Thomas Edison failed at least 100 times before he came up with the most important inventions of our time like the light bulb.
With these pointers, you should be ready to take on any problems. Get creative now!