Problem Solving


6-Step Creative Problem Solving (CPS) Process

The Key Things To Keep in Mind

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By: Roger von Oech, the author of A Whack on the Side of the Head



"It's important for the explorer to be willing to be led astray." ~ Roger von Oech

CPS: The Key Things to Keep in Mind

  • The Creative Problem Solving (CPS) process has Six Steps.

  • Each phase has two phases a Divergent Phase (D phase) and a Convergent Phase (C phase)

  • The goal of the Divergent phase is to generate as many ideas as possible.  The rules are: NO judgment or evaluation during the D phase.  Go wild and wacky.  Try to generate as many ideas as possible, even if they are wild and thoroughly impractical, and especially if they are.  >>>

  • The goal of the C phase is to very carefully and systematically narrow down your options to just one. Your mindset is just the opposite of what you employed during the D phase.

  • Formulating the right question or problem is at least as important as developing solutions or ideas.  The right or perfect answer to the wrong question is why a lot of excellent systems and products fail in the marketplace.  Well formulated problems are of the form:

    • In what ways might I / we solve / benefit from this problem?

    • Problems are worded in an Actionable form because your goal is to FIND A WAY OUT.  It does not help to formulate problems as:  "Gee, this thing sucks big time".  There is no way one can move forward with such a problem statement.

  • Even the most wackiest of ideas can be turned into a practical one if you search for the essence of that idea.

  • Make sure that you have a clear action plan at the end.

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Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.

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Don't talk about a problem;

talk about opportunities.

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