Important Creativity Step That Many People Skip

Questions to ideasCreativity is a thought process and according to research you can train yourself to think more creatively. I will repeat this because this is so important, you can train yourself to be more creative :) I find this very interesting because creativity is so important in today’s world for entrepreneur’s and companies’ success.

The creativity process

The creative process has been described as having three steps:

  1. Problem finding
  2. Ideation
  3. Evaluation

Step one, problem finding, involves identifying, defining, and working toward a solution to the problem.

Many people do not spend enough time on step one when they are creating because they think step two is most important. However, focusing on step one for a while can help you with learning new things related to the problem, understand it better, see it from a different perspective and come up with a more creative solution to solve it.

Example of how important step one is

A group of engineers were working on finding WHAT it is that causes people injuries when they have a car accident. Was it the steering wheel, the windows, the dashboard or something else?

While this group focused on this question, another group of engineers decided to focus on a different question to understand the problem better. They asked WHEN do people get injured? When they looked at the problem from this point of view they found out that most people get injured during the first second after the car accident. This focus led them to come up with solutions to protect people during this one second and they came up with an idea to protect people for one second and the idea of the airbag was born.

A method that helps you with step one, problem finding

This method is very easy, it involves questions kids learn in grade school or when first learning a language. You most likely already know this method but unfortunately most people don’t give themselves time to use it.

Here is this simple method:

  1. Write down your problem
  2. Ask yourself 6 Key Questions: Who, What, Why, When, Where and How. Do not ask each question only once, but ask them until you can not think of any other questions and answers.
  • Example:
    • My problem: Many people don’t know how to take good care of their plants?
    • For whom is this a problem? Companies, children, sick people, employees, entrepreneurs, basically every human being shares this problem because plants can be so beneficial for humans.
    • What do people not know? Which plant to choose, when to water the plant, where to keep it, how often the soil should be renewed.
    • Why is that a problem? People and employees don’t reap the benefits of increasing their creativity with good plants in their work environment.
    • Why is that a problem? They could be more successful and healthy if they had good plants around them.
    • Why do many people not know how to take good care of plants? They do not get good instructions when they buy plants.
    • Why do many people not know how to take good care of plants? They don’t know how beneficial plants can be for them so they don’t spend time learning how to take care of them.

You get the picture. Ask, ask and ask and spend time getting to really know your problem.

Good luck and remember that by doing this exercise you can train yourself to be more creative next time you want to solve a problem.

About Birna Birgisdóttir

Birna Birgisdóttir is a Ph.D candidate, researching creativity and servant leadership. She enjoys learning new things and has a M.Sc. in International Business, B.Sc. in Business Administration, diploma in Human Resource Management and she is an Executive Coach as well as NLP Practitioner.

Birna loves new adventures; has travelled the world, scuba dived in Mexico, skydived in Las Vegas, surfed in Australia, meditated in India and climbed the highest peak in Iceland.

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