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how to improve creative problem solving skills?
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How to improve your creative problem-solving skills

Creative problem-solving involves analyzing an issue, defining an approach and implementing a solution. Just like any other skill, it requires a strategic approach and practice to get better. 

Follow these steps to start improving your creative problem-solving skills.

  1. Use a strategic framework.

  2. Practice empathy.

  3. Get a hobby.

  4. Relax your assumptions.

  5. Practice persistence.

  6. Question standard practices.

  7. Consider your past experiences.

  8. Become an expert in your field.

  9. Practice creative problem-solving.

  10. Ask for help.

    1. Use a strategic framework

    Creative problem-solving is a framework within itself. It lets you break down issues that are hard to measure with a structured approach.

    Try these steps:

    • Gather information: During this phase, clarify your goal or your problem. Gather as much information and unbiased input as you can. Customer surveys, employee comments and research data are great sources.

    • Identify relationships: Consider all the data you’ve collected and look for relationships between each point. You might find that your problem or goal has changed. This is where you can use creative brainstorming or mind mapping to challenge the parameters of the problems and current solutions. Ask why ‘X’ activities led to ‘Y’ results.

    • Develop a solution: Create several hypotheses to solve your problem. Determine which of the solutions will have the best results, which can be fully implemented and how you can implement them. Experiment with different scenarios using A/B testing. Also called split testing, A/B testing is the practice of comparing two different versions of the same product against each other to see which performs better. For example, you can test a book cover by showing half of your audience sees one version and showing another version to the other half. Choose the winner of the test to promote.

    • Implement: Use the information you gathered during your solution phase and put it into action. Evaluate your results and, depending on the outcome, repeat the steps. Using the creative problem-solving method in this way may reveal that there are multiple solutions to a problem. For example, video game companies often beta test their games with select groups to ensure the highest level of playability. After final improvements based on the beta tests, the games are ready for the public.

    2. Practice empathy

    Empathy is the ability to see the perspective of others. It’s a key element of emotional intelligence. In the workplace, it allows you to understand the viewpoint of coworkers and customers. High emotional intelligence is also an important step in becoming a great leader. Use empathy to implement solutions that will add value to others and the organization.

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