Course Schedule

Brainstorming, Creative Thinking, Innovation and Problem Solving

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COURSE OVERVIEW

Brainstorming and problem-solving is a natural process. Don’t put a bandage on a problem; fix it permanently. Problem-solving is best done with a proven process. Proper brainstorming and problem-solving are techniques to reverse engineer any situation, identify the cause(s) of a problem, resolve it, and prevent it from occurring again. This saves your organization time, money, and resources.

We are all born problem solvers. True creative thinking and problem-solving consists of seeing what everyone else has seen, thinking what no one else has thought and doing what no one else has dared.

Brainstorming is the bedrock of innovation – the spark or idea that brings with it the possibility for change and improve. No team can achieve its objectives until its people achieve theirs. This is what this program is about i.e. making participants’ more effective in the way they solve problems so that they, in turn, can make their business area more effective.

This course introduces delegates to proven models to separate causes from symptoms; develop a range of potential solutions; walk through a plan to implement and test these solutions and measure the results. In today’s turbulent business environment, it’s not enough to do things differently. We must do different things.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • Understand the role of brainstorming and creativity thinking and its use to solve problems
  • Develop brainstorming and creative problem-solving habits and apply these to decision making
  • Understand that every problem has one or more cause(s) that can be identified
  • Leverage the latest strategies and methodologies for identifying and generating win/win innovative outcomes
  • Link innovation to performance and establish critical measurement tools to prove your success
  • Understand individual creative talents and skills as a starting point for greater creative contribution in the workplace
  • Increase the capacity for using creativity to solve problems, deal with conflict and negotiate win/win solutions.
  • Gain awareness of how creativity can be among the organization’s greatest assets

TARGET AUDIENCE

This training course is designed for all employees interested in creating a culture that embraces creativity and its role in strengthening decision making. It will benefit anyone interested in understanding how to identify the real causes of problems faced by their organization and solve them permanently.

TRAINING METHODOLOGY

This highly practical and results-oriented program is based on adult learning concept. The facilitator will give

 

plenty of input and then help participants to make sense of the themes through discussion and practice. It incorporates short inspiring demonstrations, role play and much practice to enhance learning. There will be ample time for Q&A, discussions with ‘return to work’ action planning. The course will reinforce key concepts within an inspiring and engaging learning environment.

Pre & Post course assessments will be used to measure the effectiveness of this training and measure the skill and ability of participants.

COURSE CONTENTS

DAY 1 – The Anatomy of Brainstorming

  • Description:

    On Day One we look at the necessary components and principles of brainstorming and creativity

  • KeyTopics:

    • Defining brainstorming and problem solving – what is and what it is not
    • Idea conception to tangible execution – de Bono’s influence
    • Where do all great ideas come from and mostly end up?
    • Where creative thinking can be applied in the workplace
    • What are managerial problems, process problems, people problems?
    • Problem types, conditions and urgency
    • Managers as problem solvers vs. decision makers 

DAY 2 – Applying Brainstorming

  • Description:

    On Day two we look at how to apply brainstorming and problem solving everyday

  • KeyTopics:

    • Using the distinct types of mental skill used in brainstorming and creativity: analytical and creative
    • Challenging assumptions and overcoming the barriers to creative brainstorming in various situations
    • The habits and stages used by creative brainstormers and innovators
    • Learning how creative brainstorming works and identifying/understanding the creativity in others
    • Problem types and generating alternatives to these using the top five brainstorming techniques used in business today
    • Creating options and choosing the most suitable course of action for each problem

DAY 3 – - Innovative Problem Solving

  • Description:

    On Day Three we look at using innovation and problem solving everyday

  • KeyTopics:

    • Problem-solving skill elements:
      • fluency – producing many ideas
      • flexibility – producing a broad range of ideas
      • originality – producing uncommon ideas
      • elaboration – developing ideas.
    • Applying Brainstorming and Problem-Solving Strategies (from amongst the following)
      • Abstraction: solving the problem in a model of the system before applying it to the real system
      • Analogy: using a solution that solves an analogous problem
      • Brainstorming: (especially among groups of people) suggesting a large number of solutions or ideas and combining and developing them until an optimum is found
      • Divide and conquer: breaking down a large, complex problem into smaller, solvable problems
      • Hypothesis testing: assuming a possible explanation to the problem and trying to prove (or, in some contexts, disprove) the assumption
      • Lateral thinking: approaching solutions indirectly and creatively.
      • Means-ends analysis: choosing an action at each step to move closer to the goal
      • Method of focal objects: synthesizing seemingly non-matching characteristics of different objects into something new
      • Morphological analysis: assessing the output and interactions of an entire system
      • Proof: try to prove that the problem cannot be solved. The point where the proof fails will be the starting point for solving it
      • Reduction: transforming the problem into another problem for which solutions exist
      • Research: employing existing ideas or adapting existing solutions to similar problems
      • Root cause analysis: identifying the cause of a problem
      • Trial-and-error: testing possible solutions until the right one is found

DAY 4 - Unleashing the Innovative Genius Inside You and Others

  • Description:

    On Day Four we look at practicing personal innovation

  • KeyTopics:

    • Generating alternatives and evaluation them: Creative thinking game (traffic jam)
    • Eight Disciplines Problem Solving
      1. GROW model
      2. How to solve it
      3. KEPNER and FOURIE Incident and Problem Investigation
      4. Kepner-Tregoe Problem Solving and Decision Making
      5. PDCA (plan-do-check-act)
      6. Productive Thinking Model
      7. RPR Problem Diagnosis (rapid problem resolution)
      8. Thinking Dimensions – Problem Solving
    • Using creative thinking to influence my entire environment
    • Using creative thinking in applying organizational and departmental strategy
    • How to spot creative talent in others

DAY 5 – Approaches to Decision Making and Activating Creativity/Brainstorming

  • Description:

    On Day Five we look at practicing problem solving and decision making.

  • KeyTopics:

    • Problem solving and decisions (and the process for implementing creative ideas)
    • How to make decisions
    • Case Study: Using the problem-solving tools
      • Plan-Define problem and process
      • Plan-Identify possible causes and select the most likely
      • Plan-Identify possible solutions and select the best one(s)
      • Do-Develop action plan
      • Check-Implement plan

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