Graham🐝 Edwards en Directors and Executives, Entrepreneurs, Business Consulting Principal • GPEStratagem 18/11/2016 · 2 min de lectura · 1,1K

In search of creative problem solving - part one

In search of creative problem solving - part one

For Renée who likes birds and Vujá dé.

Have you ever been walking in the woods with someone and they look up and say, "Hey look... a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker".
You then look up and say, "Um, no... Can't see it".
They then come back to you with, "See where I'm pointing, just above that broken branch".
You look a little more intently and say, "Nope, still can't see it".
Then, in a slightly frustrated voice they say, "You see the broken branch, right?"
You say, "Yes". You look a little harder.
They then say, "Ok, to the left and up slightly. See it?"
You reply, "Still can't see it"
They suggest,"Let's move over here", and you do.
They then suggest you look up the trunk of the tree about twenty feet and then at the third branch; you shift your gaze about three feet and there it is, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.
"Oh now I see it", you say with a bit of relief in your voice,  just as it flies away. (See picture if you missed it)

Creative problem solving, as well as situation analysis, can be analogous to that search for the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker because it's all about being able to see the situation and/or the solution. Before I get into it, let me take a short detour for a moment... but not to worry, we will meander back to the topic at hand. 

A while ago I wrote a post called "The Lemonade Stand... a way of thinking" (December 10, 2014) offering some thoughts on various frameworks for thinking, such as the 7S Model and The 4 P Marketing Model. 

Shortly after I posted it, Dave (an associate of mine), asked me "How can you think creatively if you are using business models that were developed in the last century?" It was a very good question, and one that I think the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has started to shed some light on. See... I told you I would meander back.

I believe these frameworks are proving the test of time as tools for thinking, particularly in a business setting and where the secret to "creative problem solving" lies is in how you look at the various components of the framework... "How you see"

With "The Lemonade Stand Model", the broadest of the frameworks, we know that the customer is something of great importance. 

It looks at the customer, spend time understanding them, determine ways to know them, and ways to see them. We try to put ourselves into a position where we can say, "Oh, now I see it". It's all about "how you" see within the framework. "Seeing it" leads to understanding and creative solutions.

So now the obvious question is how do you see something that you can't quite see at the moment? Well... like that person in the woods, you get someone to help you (either literally of figuratively).
  • Put yourself in circumstances where you are outside "your bubble"* - Do something you don't know how to do, meet people you would never meet, and literally go see things you normally don't see. This is why I will never travel to an all-inclusive resort again.
  • Read biographies, history and comic books. 
  • Search out experts in fields and disciplines that you have no interest in or would never have thought of. I personally like Chase Jarvis Live as he has guests I would never have exposure to, or gain insight from. I have attached an interview with Jasmine Star a famous wedding photographer. Chase Jarvis Live is long format, which means it's lengthy and informative in a way that isn't "sound bites" or simplistic overviews. Sometimes "seeing" takes a little time.

In search of creative problem solving - part one

  • Befriend people who don't think like you, live like you, or votes the same way as you do.

As you can see from the title that started all of this, it is something I am exploring and will continue to explore "in as many parts as it takes".

Let me know what you think, so I can "see" a little better.



* "Your bubble" in this context refers to your life... the more protected, controlled or isolated it is, the smaller your bubble. 

Deb🐝 Lange 27/11/2016 · #12

Awesome @Graham #10 it really does make a difference when we just notice - the way things are - as that is the way things are! I find it much more peaceful .

+1 +1
Graham🐝 Edwards 27/11/2016 · #10

#6 Thanks for the comment @Lisa Gallagher... I think "tolerance" to see better is key. @Deb Lange introduced me to the concept of "noticing without judgement" and I can tell you I am now starting to "see better" for it.

+3 +3
Graham🐝 Edwards 27/11/2016 · #9

#5 Thanks for the comment @Brian McKenzie... hmmm matters of the heart; I'll have to defer to others on this one.

+1 +1
Graham🐝 Edwards 27/11/2016 · #8

#3 Thanks for the comment @Kevin Pashuk. I've never heard of the book and now I have, and I'm going to read it... thank you for sharing !!!

+1 +1
Sushmita Thakare Jain 19/11/2016 · #7

'How can you think creatively if you are using business models that were developed in the last century?'
@Graham Edwards this is an apt and a thought-provoking question to be asked. Would be interesting to ask to this to few who I know and are still using same business models no matter how diverse are the situations or more. Thanks for sharing know few with whom need to share this post persoanally and also sharing it further!

+1 +1
Lisa 🐝 Gallagher 19/11/2016 · #6

I learned in my early 30's it was beneficial and fun to befriend people who don't think like me or live like I do. I've made more real life connections because of this and my world view has expanded. I think it helps to create an environment of more tolerance because even if people don't think of live like we do, there always seems to be some common ground somewhere. Oh and I'm the infamous one for finally seeing the bird as it takes off to fly ;-)

+1 +1
Brian McKenzie 19/11/2016 · #5

I am absolutely horrible with relationships. I have severe trust issues, drastic security measures, exceedingly high risk mitigation and an overall nausea with nearly everything pandered to in the name of "Love". ....but for 25 years I have been helping couples find, meet, connect and marry. 64 couples - where I have helped friends find their "One" - across distance, borders, languages and cultural frames of mind. Those that can't do ~ teach, apparently. I can tell you the pitfalls, dangers and tactics to win hearts - but at a personal level - I don't connect with it for myself at all.

+1 +1