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This is the first in a two-part series about creativity in business problem solving. Check back for part two tomorrow and be sure to sign up for our mailing list to get business skills 

Have you ever used duct tape to get that car to work? Maybe the kids needed a costume for the school play, and you were able to throw a ghost or businessperson costume together? How about the time you had to open a can of ravioli but didn’t have a can opener? If you have encountered and overcame these problems, then you’ve used your creativity to solve problems. How can we unlock this creativity to problem solve in business?

Are You a Creative Problem Solver?

For many, creativity means being able to draw or compose a song. However, not everyone can do those things will.  Does that mean that they cannot be creative?  The good news is that creativity is not restricted to a specialty, profession or expertise. Every activity you engage in, whether consciously or unconsciously, has the potential to showcase your creativity. Creativity lies in everyone’s brain and the more we engage it, the better we will be. Every time we try to do something faster, better or cheaper we are creative. If you don’t believe you are a creative thinker, think about this;

Do you ask questions?

If you have a problem, I bet there are many questions that cross your mind. You are searching for ways to solve the problem and at the same time prevent it from happening again. Your search is an indication that you are a creative problem solver, even if you do not have a clue as to what the solution may be when you start.

Does zero based thinking work for you?

How many times have you stopped midway through a task to ask yourself if there is a cheaper or faster way of getting to the end? If there is, most of us would stop and take the alternative route. This action is a form of zero-based thinking and a creative way to make improvements.  Most people are creative problem solvers, yet they do not take the time to recognize their abilities.

Do you change your mind?

Having a problem to solve creates a state of restlessness in the mind. In an effort to quickly analyze the solutions available, many people make uninformed choices. With time, however, you, or other people, notice the results of those choices and may think of a better solution. The readiness to change our perception and adjust our problem solving is a reflection of creative thinking.

Do you take responsibility for your mistakes?

Research shows that 80% of common relationship problems can be solved if people would just admit their wrongs. The first step in solving the problem is to admit there is one and then assessing your resources to find a solution.

You may not be responsible for the current state of affairs at your workplace or home, but you are quite capable of rectifying what is wrong. Think long and hard about the contribution you could make, then confidently forge forward because it is within you to make it right.

Ultimately, creativity comes in many forms.  Day to day problem solving is one way you can expand and foster your creativity in a practical way.

Tomorrow we talk more about creative problem solving. Check back with us, or better yet, sign up for our mailing list in order to get business skills to your inbox, every day.