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CREATIVITY ASSIGNMENT 10

Creativity Assignment

Abstract

Creative problem solving is the coming up of unique solutions to problems. In the modern business world, creative problem solving is of utmost importance taking into consideration the high level of competition, need for sustainability, dynamics and globalisation among other factors affecting business. Various creative problem solving have been developed over time. This assessment paper will focus on the storming and synectics creative problem solving methods and the likely situations where they are applied.

Introduction

Creativity is defined as the ability to come up with unique and new ways of doing things. Creativity is based on the ability of an individual or corporate to have new and unique viewpoint son specific issues (Mark, 2004). Creativity is nowadays regarded to as one of the key assets to an organisation. In the age of increased competition in the market, globalisation and dynamism in the business world, creativity has risen up to be one of the key pillars of enhancing the performance of an organisation (David, 2003). Creativity is directly linked to innovation (Kliem, 2013). Innovation is the ability to come up with unique ways of doing something or the development of new products that go into the satisfaction of a specific need in the market. The success stories of major companies such as Apple, Google, Virgin Atlantic and Microsoft among others have a bearing on the way in which the owners and management of those companies embraced creative problem solving aspects. The following paper assesses the need for creative problem solving in the business environment, the major creative problem solving methods and situations in which specific methods are used. The paper will focus to brain storming and synectics creative problem solving methods.

Need for Creative Problem Solving Techniques in Contemporary Business Environment

As outlined in the introduction, creativity is one of the most important assets to modern business organisations. Innovation is one of the main aspects related to creativity that is of utmost importance to business organisations. Innovation is a function of creativity, meaning that it cannot exist in an organisation where there is no creativity. With increased competition and setting on of a surplus market, there has been an intense need for organisations to set themselves apart from the rest in the market. This is only achievable by innovation. The building of great brands such as Apple and Virgin Atlantic Airways has been possible through continuous innovation. From this argument, it can be acknowledged that creativity in problem solving is important to modern business organisations since it leads to innovation.

Creative problem solving also increases the competitiveness of an organisation (Kliem, 2013). With heightened competition in the modern globalised business world, it has become important that organisations come up with measures of gaining competitive edges over one another. This is achieved by providing the consumers with unique products that give them exceedingly great user experiences. Giving an example of Toyota Motor Corporation, it can be acknowledged that its competitiveness in the automobile manufacturing industry is derived from the ability of the company to provide companies with great car designs, great user abilities, fuel economy and continuous growth and proliferation of brands. This is also backed up by creative manufacturing policies and systems such as lean manufacturing, kiazen and just in time. Therefore, it can be appreciated that creativity has a hand in boosting the competitiveness of an organisation in the market.

Creative problem solving also has a role in increasing the productivity of an organisation Li, W., (2013). Creativity focusses on analysing the current systems and practices in an organisation and market and coming up with unique ways of solving various problems identified or improving on the systems that are currently in use. This enables an organisation to optimise its processes and resources. In doing so, various objectives are met. They include the reduction of the unit cost of production, reduction of waste, increased efficiency and improvement of product quality. This in turn translates to an increase in organisational production. A good example of a business organisation that has been able to achieve the above benefits from creativity is Toyota Motor Corporation.

Sustainability is also a key aspect in modern business organisations. Sustainability involves the profitable use of resources available to an organisation without compromising the chances of doing so in the future. Therefore, sustainability defines whether an organisation will remain relevant in the market in the future. In the modern business world corporates have to take care of various aspects related to environmental, economic and political sustainability. Creative Problem solving enables corporates to come up with unique strategies of realising sustainability in their processes (David, 2003). Some of the strategies currently being used include the use of green logistics such as the reduction of carbon emissions in Woolworth’s distribution and supply system and use of renewable energy among others. Lastly, creative problem solving is a key aspect that leads to the increment of corporate profitability. As identified in the above arguments, creativity leads to the realisation of various elements that collectively influence the profitability of a business firm positively (Richard, 2003). Therefore, it can be acknowledged from the above arguments that there is a need for creative problem solving in business environment.

Major Creative Problem Solving Methods

Creative problem solving is usually a sequential process (Richard, 2003). Each step holds equal importance since the end decision made are a function of all these steps. Creative Problem solving follows various methods. The methods are based on various concepts and theories. Some of the main creative problem solving methods are brainstorming, synectics, bullet proofing, assumption surfacing, alternative scenarios, analogy, boundary examination, 5Ws and 5Hs and CATWOE analysis. This assessment paper will focus on brainstorming and synectics creative problem solving methods.

Brainstorming method

Brainstorming is a creative problem solving method in which the stakeholders involved meet and generate many alternatives in problem solving which is followed by the selection of the best decision based on specific measures. This is a very popular creative Problem solving method that is based on three main steps. The first step is the bringing of people involved to an appropriate platform (Andrew, 2002). On this principle, the method emphasise on the need for the correct environment that ensures that every person involved is able to contribute to the problem solving process. This step is important in ensuring that the decision made is arrived at after the full analysis of the opinions of the various people involved. In instances where all the people are not involved in the problem solving, there is a risk of not having a shared sense of direction leading to conflicts in its implementation.

According to Andrew, (2002) the second step in brainstorming problem solving method is adjustment of the perspective. This step involves the provision of the brainstorming team with the appropriate resources to make decisions. The resources may involve key information about the problem at hand and other physical resources such as stationery. This step also outlines the desired outputs of the problem solving process. This is important in restricting the line in which the decisions would be made. The third step in this problem solving method is the successful move in the forward direction in problem solving (Andrew, 2002). This step involves control and team management so as to ensure that that the best decisions are made.

Successful brainstorming is based on several principles. The first principle is that criticism is not recommended in the problem solving process. This ensures that people are not viewed based on the suggestions they bring to the problem solving team (Li, 2013). Secondly, the expression of opinions should be uninhibited. This ensures that every person in the problem solving team is able to give his or her contribution to the problem solving process freely. Thirdly, the team should focus on getting a large quantity of ideas. The chance of the making of great decisions is based on the number of ideas put forward (Robert & Matthew, 1996). Lastly, hitch hiking is encouraged in the problem solving method since it allows for the combining or building up on ideas that are put forward. Concluding, brain storming is a great creative problem solving process since it brings people with diverse knowledge and experience on one table; hence increasing the chances of making of creative decisions.

Synectics

Synectics is a creative problem solving method that focusses on identified links to elements that seem unrelated (Vesna & Matjaz, 2006). This method aims at identifying the interrelationships amongst various elements and generating new insights into the way the elements are perceived. The linking and de linking of elements takes place in the mind of the decision maker. Therefore, it can be acknowledged that synectics is a metal problem solving method that aims at finding the connections amongst or between various elements; hence being able to provide unique solutions to the problems that are associated with the elements.

This problem solving process follows specific steps. The first step involves the analysis and definition of the problem. This step leads to the identification of finite issues related to the problem at hand. It enables the person involved in the problem solving process to fully understand all issues related to the problem at hand. The second step is the development of spontaneous solutions to the problem (Kliem, 2013). This leads to the identification of possible solutions. The third step restates the problem. This is meant to analyse the relationship between the solutions identified and their ability to solve the problem. The fourth step involves the development of direct analogies from an observer point of view. This is followed by personal analogies based on an identification from an individual point of view or from what is normally referred to as a child perception. The sixth step involves the development of symbolic analogies. In this step, the decision maker contradicts the analogies identified. The seventh step is the 2nd direct analogy where new interrelationships/ analogies are developed. This is followed by an analysis of the 2nd analogies developed. In the ninth step, the analogies are transmitted to the original problem. The last step involves the development of solutions for the problem based on the connections discovered.

Applications of brainstorming and synectics creative problem solving Methods

The application of the brainstorming creative problem solving method is best suited in instances where quick decisions are to be made. This is due to the fact that brainstorming takes shorter time to arrive at decisions as opposed to synectics where time has to be taken to identify interrelationships amongst various elements. However, brainstorming takes amore time in instances where the team members are not able to work with each other efficiently (Gieringer & Cherry, 2009). Brainstorming is also more effective in instances where the decision to be made affects a lot of people. In such instances, there is a need to develop a widely accepted decision, which is not possible in the subjective synectics problem solving process. On the other hand, synetics is appropriate in instances where the decision maker has a lot of time and the decision to be made is not urgent. Additionally, this problem solving strategy is appropriate for complex problems that need an in depth analysis.

However, the two methods can be incorporated together in the problem solving process so as to realise the benefits associated with each one of them.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this assessment paper has identified that creative Problem solving is of utmost importance to an organisation. It was pointed out that creativity is as of today regarded to be one of the most important elements of an organisation. The paper found that innovation, increase organisational competitiveness, increased production, sustainability and profitability are some of the main aspects associated with creative problem solving process. The paper also identified various creative decision problem solving methods. Focus was given to synectics and brainstorming methods. Brainstorming was described as a method in which various ideas on the solution of specific problems are generated by a team of people after which appropriate decisions are made. Synectics was identified to be a stepwise problem solving method that identified the interrelationships between elements that seem unrelated. The relationships are used to make appropriate decisions to solve the problem at hand. The methods have their own strengths and weaknesses that influence the situations in which they can be used. It can be acknowledged that this paper has been able to identify the need for creative problem solving in business environment and also give an in depth insight to synectics and brainstorming creative problem solving methods.

References

Andrew, L., (2002). Bankable Brainstorming, Association Management, 54(10), 30-37

David, H., (2003). Add Creativity to Your Decision Process, the Quality Journal for Quality and Participation, 26(2); 4-13

Gieringer, N., & Cherry, B., (2009). Connecting Informal Workgroup Interactions and Organizational Creative Climate, Proquest, Gonzaga University

Kliem, R., (2013). Creative, Efficient, and Effective Project Management, Auerbach Publications

Li, W., (2013). Extenics and Innovation Methods, CRC Press 

Mark, R., (2004). Creativity, Annual Review of Psychology, 55(1); 657 – 687

Richard, J. T. (2003). Ideas on fostering creative problem solving in executive coaching. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 55(4), 249-256

Robert, S., & Matthew, W., (1996). Brainstorming: The Common Thread in TQM, Empowerment, Re-Engineering and Continuous Improvement, International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 13 (1); 24 — 31

Tony, P., & Paul, R., (2002). Generating Marketing Strategies: A structured Creative Decision Support, Management Decision, 30(5), 50-54

Vesna, C., & Matjaz, M., (2006). Systemic Decision Analysis Approaches: Requisite Tools for Developing Creative Ideas into Innovations, Kybernetes, 35 (7); 1059-1070

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