Creative Problem Solving
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Overcoming problems and challenges are part of being alive — but sometimes it's not enough to do the predictable, the normal, or the expected. 

Sometimes you'll have to draw deep into your creative mind and deliver innovative and creative options. So, what if that deep well of creativity is empty and the clock is ticking? 

That's when you bookmark this Playbook as your reference so you can creatively problem solve on demand. 

Experiment with any of these, or ideally a combination of these models, to take your thinking to new creative heights. 


One way to interrupt Functional Fixedness and cut to the core of the issue with fewer assumptions.

Before you start brainstorming and generating creative solutions, be sure to invest that same creative energy on defining, challenging and reframing the question.

Be aware of your biases — including your assumptions about the familiar resources and status quo elements around you.

Use this combination between roleplay and brainstorming to generate fresh perspectives on a problem.

You might think this is a self-evident and simple model — but using click into the model and particularly consider the MECE Principle to help you break down a larger problem.

This framework will help you identify the sort of terrain your problem lies in and how to proceed as a result.

This checklist was good enough for the CIA, so you're sure to find some useful questions to help you reframe and solve a complex problem.

Still not working for you? Then try turning the problem on it's head. Identify what you don't want and brainstorm about how to avoid it.

Time to get new perspectives — embrace diversity in your team and ideas as you seek that 'magic intersection' between key mental models.

You might be ready for a more traditional approach to innovation — leading with empathy and using a range of other tools including Personas, Empathy Maps, Journey Maps and more as part of your Design Thinking experience.

Finally, don't commit to the solution. Instead, deliver the most basic option that you think people will want to 'buy' or use, to preview the experience and gain more feedback.

You've been working hard and focusing, which is an important way to solve problems, but be sure to take a break and let your subconscious mind work on the problem also.
Share this Playbook with your network to be smarter, faster, together!

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