Problem solving skills
A systematic decision-making approach is logical and consistent. It is based on the idea that the best decisions are made when you consider all available options and have a clear understanding of potential risks and rewards associated with each.
The standard process
Define the situation and the decision
Identify the criteria
Weigh up the criteria
Generate alternatives. What are the various options available?
Collect and evaluate evidence available for each alternative
Rate each alternative against the criteria
Creative decision making
Several features define creativity:
The number of ideas presented to address a given situation or problem
The novelty or rarity of each idea
The practicality of a given set of ideas
A number of tools and techniques are available to help you make decisions and solve problems in a more creative way.
Creative problem-solving is about finding the solutions that might normally get missed. They get missed because we are trapped in our own approach and in our own assumptions. A simple way of doing this is to identify all the assumptions you hold about a situation, write them down and then ask yourself if they have to be true, or if alternatives could apply.
"Six thinking hats"
Also known as De Bono's coloured hats techniques, this is designed to help the decision maker to look at a situation from different perspectives.
This is the idea of bringing together unfamiliar elements, looking at the other side of the coin and drilling down for new connections from existing ideas. As a concept, it is similar to the "green hat" thinking approach above.
The storyborad exercise is a planning tool that can help you to explore your creative capabilities to generate ideas to bridge the gap between an existing state and an expected future state.
The mind map is a graphical expression of connected thought processes that begins from a central point. It uses a mixture of pictures and words.