Professional Self-Development

Advanced Problem Solving & Decision Making

Master Creative Thinking Strategies to Really Think Outside the Box


Who Should Attend:

  • Directors & Managers
  • Supervisors & Team Leaders
  • Executives seeking to foster innovation

Course Objectives

  • Understand the difference between creativity and innovation
  • Understand what limits our creative potential, organisationally and personally
  • Master skills for day-to-day handling of decision situations
  • Understand the importance of identifying and clarifying issues to be resolved
  • Obtain techniques to identify the "real" problem and magnitude of impact
  • Learn how to find the root cause of a problem
  • Familiarity with priority setting and determining appropriate techniques and tools to deal with issues
  • Learn creative thinking techniques to develop options and novel solutions
  • Recognise and remove barriers to creativity to foster an innovative culture
  • Explore ways to exercise sound judgment in evaluating and solving problems
  • Learn how to develop criteria for evaluation of options and assessment of risk
  • Understand the relationship between risk taking and creative thinking.

What will you gain?

By the end of this course you will be able to:
  • Transform your creativity into practical business solutions (innovations)
  • Adapt to different thinking styles in groups and teams
  • Systematically analyse a target problem
  • Set goals with clarity of purpose and appropriate scope for a decision
  • Master various lateral-thinking techniques
  • Make better decisions through critical thinking and creative problem solving
  • Improve communication with team members, enabling better teamwork
  • Reduce problem solving cycle time
  • Improve confidence in leading assignments and making decisions.

Course Content

  • What is Creativity? What is Innovation?
  • Three Components of Creativity
  • Conceptual Blocks/Barriers to Creativity
  • Creative Thinking Process
    • Explorer
    • Artist
    • Judge
    • Warrior
  • Problem and Problem Solving Defined
  • Problem Solving Tools
    • Constructive Controversy: Arguing For and Against Options
    • Inductive Reasoning: Drawing Good, Generalised Conclusions
    • Avoiding Logical Fallacies: What They are and How to Avoid Them
    • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA): Spotting Problems Early
    • Heuristic Methods: Using Rules of Thumb
    • Means End Analysis: Identifying the Steps Needed to Solve a Problem
    • Visioning
    • Brain Storming
    • 5 Whys
    • Appreciation
  • Problem Solving Approaches
    • Problem Definition Process
      • Understanding the Problem Environment
      • Generating Alternative Solutions
      • Analysing Facts, Hidden Assumptions, and Unexpected Impacts
      • Selecting the Best Decision
    • Simplex
    • Appreciative Inquiry
    • Soft Systems Methodology (SSM)
  • Tools for Defining Problems
    • Kipling Method
    • Problem Statement
    • Challenge Method
    • 6 Thinking Hats (Edward de Bono)
      • Lateral Thinking
      • Right Brain vs. Left Brain
  • Tips for Building up your Problem-Solving Toolbox
  • Tools for Understanding Complex Situations
    • Appreciation
    • Drill-Down
    • Cause & Effect Diagrammes/“Fishbone” /“Ishikawa Diagramme
    • System Diagrammes
    • SWOT Analysis
    • Porter’s Five Forces
    • Value Chain Analysis
    • CATWOE
    • Pareto Principle (80/20)
    • Risk Analysis
    • The Wheel of Multiple Perspectives
  • Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)
  • Swim Lane Diagramme
  • Systems Diagramme
  • Flow Charts
  • Decision Making and Decision Taking Defined
  • Factors that Help Effective Decision Making
  • 6 C’s of Decision Making
  • WHAT IS LOGIC and How to Defy It
  • Alternatives Assessment and Decision Making
  • Who Makes Decisions and What is a Decision
  • The 8-Step Decision Making Process
  • Paired Comparison Analysis
  • Practice Generating Innovative Ideas, Options and Solutions
  • Decision Making Models
    • Vroom-Yetton-Jago: Deciding How to Decide
    • The Kepner-Tregoe Matrix: Making Unbiased, Risk Assessed Decisions
    • OODA Loops: Understanding the Decision Cycle
    • The Recognition-Primed Decision (RPD) Process
  • Ethics and Decision Making
  • Cultural Consideration in the Decision Making Process
  • Organisational Decision Making
    • Sequential Action Planning
    • Well Formed Outcomes
    • Scenario Planning
    • Walt Disney Strategy.

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