How Creative Thinking Tools Help Us To Solve Problems
As problem solvers, we are typically surrounded by a “wall” of psychological inertia. This keeps us within the boundaries of the previous experience. In other words, psychological inertia always pushes a problem solver to “look for a lost wallet under a streetlight.” In this post, we want to show how problem-solving (or creative thinking) tools can help us break through this wall of psychological inertia.
What are these problem-solving tools for?
As mentioned above, problem-solving tools, or sometimes referred to as creative thinking tools, help us break through the “wall” of the psychological inertia and enter the field of new innovative ideas. We should not assume that there is one and the only solution to a problem. Not at all. There is an endless number of excellent solutions to every single problem. We just need to find the solutions, rank them, and make the right choice.
Problem Solving Process
Problem-solving is a process and we, as problem solvers should follow a system, any system. Here is ours.
Define a problem and describe the problem statement
Decide on success criteria
Seek help from problem-solving tools to break through the “wall” of the psychological inertia
Create innovative solutions – the more, the better
Rank the solutions and implement the most relevant one
Breaking thought the “wall”
How do problem solving tools release us from psychological inertia? Why problem solving tools are more effective in the innovation process.
Actually, it is easy to explain. Typically, a problem solver at the very beginning being under psychological inertia trying to remember and choose a known solution from his previous experience – the “database.” It could be a good way to solve a problem, but it is simply not good enough for innovation. The reason is that choosing from existing is not exactly thinking; at least it is not creative thinking. Creative thinking tools make us focus, make us think creatively.
Problem-solving tools help us switch our minds from going over existing options to creating new ones. Problem-solving tools push us to innovations.
Problem solving tools make us think and lead to the creativity
PRIZ Creative Thinking Tools
PRIZ Innovation Platform offers a library of creative thinking tools.
CEC – Cause and Effect Chain. An excellent tool for Root Cause Analyses. By searching and choosing a relevant Root Cause you will be able to learn how your system is working and find the solution to a problem. More on CEC: A Root Cause Analyses using PRIZ Innovation Platform.
UIM – Urgency-Importance Matrix. A managerial tool created for tasks prioritization by grouping into 4 different categories: “Do First”, “Do Later”, “Delegate” and “Eliminate”. The tool will help you to achieve more by doing less with managing your task priority. More on UIM: How to define urgency and importance of tasks when prioritizing?
Inventive principles. A classical and the best tool for problem solving and innovative ideas generation. The tool will guide you to relevant principles which are used as tips and recommendations on the directions to think and explore. More on 40 Inventive Principles: Problem Solving Using 40 Inventive Principles.
APA – Action Preventing Action. This is a completely new tool created to find customer needs. The tool is based on the concept that a customer does not like to do what he does. Therefore the highest level of customer satisfaction is to bring to the customer something that will prevent him from his current activity. More on APA: Happy New Customer! Ensure customer satisfaction!
EBS – Effective Brainstorming. A very popular tool that is widely used for problem solving, troubleshooting and so on. The principle is very easy. People generate ideas that are collected in the library. All ideas are good and any of them could potentially solve the problem. The question is which one. Our EBS tool is incorporated with Round Robin Ranking which allows us to prioritize the ideas and start the validation in priority sequence. EBS shortens the time to get the best solution. More on EBS: Effective BrainStorming (EBS).
RRR – Round Robin Ranking. This tool is created for the ranking of options (for example tasks, ideas, etc…) and for making a decision. The tool is based on a comparison of options by pairs (like in a chess tournament). The tool is extremely effective and easy to use. More on RRR: Decision making with Round Robin Ranking (RRR).