Wikipedia defines creative problem-solving as “… the mental process of searching for a new and novel creative solution to a problem…”, however; Noller’s Symbolic Formula for Understanding creativity states “Creativity is the function of Knowledge, Imagination, and Evaluation, reflecting an interpersonal attitude toward the beneficial and positive use of creativity (C = fa (K, I, E).”
Both are true and made me realize how one encourages creative problem solving is dependent upon their understanding of creative problem-solving AND that individual’s personality.
I consider myself to be laid back, fun-loving, and good spirited, so my encouragement for creative problem-solving is likely expressed in four ways:
I am humorous.
Working in an agency requires daily creative thinking and problem-solving, it often demands rigidity due to tight budgets or timelines and not true creativity.
I love sharing stories about my children with my team during downtime. Children have less knowledge, but more imagination than adults. These stories may or may not contribute to better creative problem-solving, but making each other laugh not only tightens the bond of the team but relaxes you and opens your mind to new ideas.
I am supportive.
It takes a lot of courage to tell others your ideas, so I like to encourage expressing ideas, and respond enthusiastically and never make someone offering an idea feel foolish. This gives even the most apparently outlandish of ideas a chance to be aired and can sometimes lead to a breakthrough.
I am easygoing.
I believe a relaxed and flexible work environment increases productivity and further encourages team members to work together own their own without requiring me to micromanage. This gives the impressions that I trust that their solutions are supported by one another.
I encourage breaks.
Having a break from the day to day grind and 50 hr. weeks is critical to remaining fresh for continued creative problem-solving. We all need R&R for a healthy work/life balance. If not we don’t produce our highest quality work and it’s as simple as that.
Resources referenced: Wikipedia: Creative Problem Solving, Marketing Donut: 10 ways to encourage creative problem solving, Forbes: 6 ideas to promote innovation in your workplace this year, CreativeProblemSolving.org, http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/32693_Chapter1.pdf (page 5).
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