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Creative Approaches to Problem Solving
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Creative Approaches to Problem Solving
A Framework for Innovation and Change

Third Edition


April 2010 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Creative Approaches to Problem Solving (CAPS) is a comprehensive text covering the well-known, cited, and used system for problem solving and creativity known as Creative Problem Solving (CPS). CPS is a flexible system used to help individuals and groups solve problems, manage change, and deliver innovation. It provides a framework, language, guidelines, and set of easy-to-use tools for understanding challenges, generating ideas and transforming promising ideas into action.

Features and Benefits:

- Specific objectives in each chapter for the reader – This provides a clear focus for instruction or independent learning

- Practical case study introduced in the beginning of each chapter and then completed as a "rest of the story" toward the end of the chapter – This feature provides an application anchor for the reader

- Upgraded mix of graphics – These updated and refreshed graphics include tables, figures, and illustrative images that are designed to provide "pictures" to go along with the word. The aim has been to aid attention, retention, and practical application

- Enhanced emphasis on flexible, dynamic process— Enables users to select and apply CPS tools, components, and stages in a meaningful way that meets their actual needs

- A framework for problem solving that has been tested and applied across ages, settings, and cultures— Readers can apply a common approach to process across many traditional "boundaries" that have limited effectives.

Creative Approaches to Problem Solving has been (and continues to be) used as a core text for faculty who are teaching courses in Creative Problem Solving or Creativity and Innovation as part of an MBA program, or in Education, a course on Creativity (often as a component of certification or endorsement requirements in gifted education). It is also used as a core text for those enrolled in professional development, continuing education, or executive education programmes.

 
Chapter One: Creative Approaches to Problem Solving
Introduction  
What is Creativity?  
Characteristics of Creative People  
Operations Within the Creative Process  
Removing Blocks and Barriers  
Creative Results and Outcomes  
The Context for Creativity  
What is Problem Solving?  
What is a Creative Approach?  
Linking Creativity and Problem Solving  
A Framework for Change  
Putting This Chapter to Work  
Activities to Guide Reflection and Action  
 
Chapter Two: Creative Problem Solving
Introduction  
What is Creative Problem Solving?  
The Origins and History of CPS  
Personal Process Activity  
The CPS Framework  
Understanding the Challenge  
Constructing Opportunities  
Exploring Data  
Framing Problems  
Generating Ideas  
Preparing for Action  
Developing Solutions  
Building Acceptance  
Planning Your Approach  
Appraising Tasks  
Designing Process  
The Heartbeat of CPS  
Guidelines for Generating  
Defer Judgment  
Strive for Quantity  
Freewheel  
Seek Combinations  
Brainstorming  
Brainstorming is Not the Same as Having a Group Discussion  
Brainstorming Includes Having Someone Lead the Session  
Brainstorming Includes Recording All Options Generated  
Brainstorming Involves Extended Effort  
Brainstorming Supplements Individual Ideation  
Guidelines for Focusing  
Use Affirmative Judgment  
Be Deliberate  
Consider Novelty  
Stay On Course  
ALUo (Advantages, Limitations, Unique Qualities, and Overcoming Limitations)  
Identifying the Advantages, Strengths, or Strong Points  
Identifying Limitations or Areas for Improvement  
Identifying Unique Qualities  
Overcoming Limitations  
Generating and Focusing Lead to Creativity  
The Tools of CPS  
Knowledge From Practical Experiences  
Knowledge Derived From the Literature  
A Solid and Explicit Conceptual Foundation Exists  
There is Continuous Research and Development  
Formal Courses Are Available  
Courses and Programs Have Been Evaluated  
Communities Exist to Advance Knowledge  
Communities Exist to Advance Practice  
There is a Documented Need  
There is Experimental Evidence  
Cps Has Been Widely Applied  
Putting This Chapter to Work  
Activities to Guide Reflection and Action  
 
Chapter Three: Understanding the Challenge
Introduction  
Understanding the Challenge in a “Nutshell”  
Input  
Processing  
Output  
What is the Constructing Opportunities Stage?  
Generating When Constructing Opportunities  
Opportunity Statements  
Focusing When Constructing Opportunities  
Constructing Opportunities – A Sample Application  
What is the Exploring Data Stage?  
Generating When Exploring Data  
Information  
Impressions  
Observations  
Feelings  
Questions  
A Tool for Exploring Data: 5WH  
Focusing When Exploring Data  
Identify Key Data  
Exploring Data – A Sample Application  
What is the Framing Problems Stage?  
Constructing an Effective Problem Statement  
Generating In Framing Problems  
Ladder of Abstraction  
Focusing When Framing Problems  
Highlighting  
Find the Hot Spots  
Restate the Hot Spots  
The Rest of the Story  
Putting This Chapter to Work  
Activities to Guide Reflection and Action  
 
Chapter Four: Generating Ideas
Introduction  
Generating Ideas in a “Nutshell”  
Input  
Processing  
Output  
What is the Generating Ideas Component and Stage?  
Points to Remember About Idea Generation  
The Generating Phase  
Qualities to Consider When Generating Options  
Using Generating Tools  
Brainstorming With Post-Its®  
Brainwriting  
SCAMPER  
Forced Fitting  
Visually Identifying Relationships  
Imagery Trek  
Attribute Listing  
Morphological Matrix  
Choosing Appropriate Tools  
Focusing in Generating Ideas  
Selecting Hits Tool  
The Rest of the Story  
Putting This Chapter to Work  
Activities to Guide Reflection and Action  
 
Chapter Five: Preparing for Action
Introduction  
Preparing for Action in a “Nutshell”  
Input  
Processing  
Output  
What is the Developing Solutions Stage?  
Generating In Developing Solutions  
Generating Criteria  
Focusing in Developing Solutions  
Choosing Tools for Focusing  
The Evaluation Matrix  
Prepare the Matrix  
Complete the Matrix  
Interpret the Results  
Paired Comparison Analysis  
Put Your Options In the PCA  
Compare Each Pair of Options  
Sum the Scores  
Interpret the Results  
Summarizing the Developing Solutions Stage  
What is the Building Acceptance Stage?  
Level of Involvement  
Degree of Complexity  
A Formula for Change  
Generating in Building Acceptance  
Generating Sources of Assistance  
Generate Possible Assisters  
Generate Possible Resisters  
Generating Potential Action Steps  
Identifying and Overcoming Limitations  
Focusing in Building Acceptance  
Sequencing Action Steps  
Planning for Implementation  
Implementation Checklist  
Relative Advantage  
Compatibility  
Complexity  
Trialability  
Observability  
Other Questions  
Obtaining Feedback on Your Plan  
The Rest of the Story  
Putting This Chapter to Work  
Activities to Guide Reflection and Action  
 
Chapter Six: Planning Your Approach to CPS
Introduction  
Planning Your Approach in a “Nutshell”  
What is Appraising Tasks?  
The People and Context Dimension  
People  
Context  
The Content-Method Dimension  
Content  
Method  
What is Designing Process?  
Required Results From the Process  
Needed Elements of the Method  
Desired Involvement and Interaction  
Constraints From the Context  
The Rest of the Story  
Putting This Chapter to Work  
Activities to Guide Reflection and Action  
 
Chapter 7: People as Creative Problem Solvers
Introduction  
Ownership  
Influence  
Interest  
Imagination  
Some Key Questions About Ownership  
Diversity  
Problem Solving Style  
Orientation to Change  
The Explorer Style  
The Developer Style  
Manner of Processing  
The External Style  
The Internal Style  
Ways of Deciding  
The Person Style  
The Task Style  
Moderate Preferences  
Working Outside Your Preferences  
Some Key Questions About Diversity  
Task Expertise  
Some Key Questions About Task Expertise  
Using Information About People When Appraising Tasks  
Apply Cps  
Modify the Task  
Find the Right People  
Wait or Withdraw  
The Rest of the Story  
Putting This Chapter to Work  
Activities to Guide Reflection and Action  
Chapter Eight: the Context for CPS  
Introduction  
The Environment Conducive to Creativity  
Support for Creative Productivity  
Support for People’s Efforts  
Enhance Satisfaction  
Respond to Change  
Knowledge Management  
Are You Ready for Change?  
Dimensions of the Climate for Creativity  
Challenge/Involvement  
Freedom  
Trust/Openness  
Idea-Time  
Playfulness/Humor  
Conflict  
Idea-Support  
Debate  
Risk-Taking  
Implications of Understanding Climate  
History  
Are You Willing to Manage Change?  
Are You Able to Move Forward?  
Using Information About Context When Appraising Tasks  
Apply CPS  
Modify the Task  
Modify the Context  
Wait or Withdraw  
The Rest of the Story  
Putting This Chapter to Work  
Activities to Guide Reflection and Action  
 
Chapter 9: The Role of Content
Introduction  
What is Content?  
The Role of Content In the System  
Novelty: What Kind of Novelty Do You Need?  
Size: How Great An Impact Do You Want?  
Breadth of Impact  
Depth of Impact  
Leverage: Where is the Best Place to Focus Your Energy?  
Identifying Key Leverage Points  
Level of Importance  
Level of Capability  
Using Your Understanding About Content  
Apply CPS  
Modify the Task  
Adjust Expectations You Hold for CPS  
Use a Different Method  
The Rest of the Story  
Putting This Chapter to Work  
Activities to Guide Reflection and Action  
 
Chapter 10: Cps as a Change Method
Introduction  
What is a Change Method?  
Being Deliberate About Method  
CPS as a Change Method  
Do You Need the Purpose and Unique Qualities of CPS?  
The CPS Framework  
The CPS Tools  
The CPS Language  
How Confident Am I In Using CPS?  
What Are the Benefits and Costs of Using CPS?  
What Are the Benefits of Using CPS?  
What Are the Costs of Using CPS?  
Your Options From Exploring Methods  
Apply CPS  
Combine CPS With Other Method(S)  
Wait or Withdraw  
Putting This Chapter to Work  
Activities to Guide Reflection and Action  
 
Chapter 11: Designing Your Way Through CPS
Introduction  
Linking Needs to Process  
An Example of Matching Process to Need  
Using Understanding the Challenge  
Using Generating Ideas  
Using Preparing for Action  
Returning to Our Example  
What is Designing Process?  
Setting the Scope of CPS Application  
Designing a Single Session  
The Session Purpose and Outcome  
The CPS Component and Stage to Use  
The Tools to Apply  
Group Involvement  
The Plan for the Session  
Tips for Designing a Single Session  
Tips for Designing a Single Session  
Have Other Stages and Tools Ready for Use  
Designing a Project Application  
The High-Level Project Plan  
The Parts of the Project Involving CPS  
The Involvement of Different People Along the Way  
Scheduling (People, Time, Locations, Etc)  
Tips for Designing Project Applications  
Design Flexibility Into Your Project Plans  
Plan Links Between Multiple Sessions  
Design for Extended Effort  
Designing An Initiative  
The Goals and Strategies for the Initiative  
The General Plan for Guiding the Initiative  
Time-Frames and Outcomes of Projects  
Plan for How People Will Be Involved  
Tips for Designing Initiative-Level Application of CPS  
Keep Your General Plan at a CPS Component Level  
Design for Consistent Project Outputs  
Plan for Changing Involvement of People  
Plan Check-In Points Throughout the Initiative  
Designing Ways to Involve People  
Determine Your Level of Use  
Using CPS At An Individual Level  
Using CPS At the Group Or Team Level  
Using CPS At the Organizational Level  
Clarify People’s Roles and Responsibilities  
Involving Clients  
Involving Resource-Group Members  
Involving Facilitators  
Designing for the Impact of Context  
Designing for Readiness  
Designing for Willingness  
Designing for Ability  
Designing Your Work Space  
Some Suggestions for Designing Process  
Design With Purpose In Mind  
Design a Straightforward Pathway Through CPS  
Be Ready to Change Your Plans  
The Rest of the Story  
Putting This Chapter to Work  
Activities to Guide Reflection and Action  
 
Chapter 12: Applying CPS
Lost Prizes  
What Did the Participants In the Session Do?  
What Challenges Did the Participants Face?  
What Impact Did CPS Have?  
Creating Computer Software  
What Did the Project Manager Do?  
What Challenges Did the Project Manager Face?  
What Impact Did CPS Have?  
Developing New Products  
What Did We Do?  
What Challenges Did We Face?  
What Impact Did We Have?  
Preparing to Apply CPS  
Prepare the People  
Prepare the CPS Process  
Prepare the Topic to Be Addressed  
Prepare the Working Environment  
General Suggestions for Getting Started  
Use CPS Personally to Demonstrate its Effectiveness  
Demonstrate the Benefits of CPS  
Use CPS Soon After Reading This Book  
Continue Your Learning  
Debrief Your Use of CPS  
Use the CPS Framework Flexibly  
Start By Using CPS On Low-Risk Tasks  
Integrate CPS Into Your Current Activities  
Find a Sponsor for Your CPS Application  
Find a Safe Group With Which to Practice  
Team Up With Someone Who Knows CPS  
Use Outside Experts to Get Help  
 
Additional Resources
About Our Organizations  
The Creative Problem Solving Group, Inc (CPSB)  
Center for Creative Learning, Inc (CCL)  
 
An Invitation
Visit Our Web Sites  
Attend a Course  
 
Putting This Chapter to Work
Activities to Guide Reflection and Action  

"The authors have assembled a complete illustration of the CPS construct."

Paul B. Carr
Professor of Organizational Leadership, Regent University

The book offers a fun-filled was to teach highly important topics like the generation of ideas in a team, preparing individuals and teams for action, and the essentials of planning and designing ones approach to problem solving.

I will be mainly using these parts of the book for the current IHRM course, but am contemplating a separate workshop on design thinking and creative problem solving that uses the Isaksen, Dorval and Treffinger text as one of the two or three essential texts.

Dr Mayank Golpelwar
Business Administration / Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Bremen University of Applied Sciences
September 30, 2016

The book offers a fun-filled was to teach highly important topics like the generation of ideas in a team, preparing individuals and teams for action, and the essentials of planning and designing ones approach to problem solving.

I will be mainly using these parts of the book for the course current course, but am contemplating a separate workshop on design thinking and creative problem solving that uses the Isaksen, Dorval and Treffinger text as one of the two or three essential texts.

Dr Mayank Golpelwar
Business Administration / Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Bremen University of Applied Sciences
September 30, 2016

Useful information

Mr Robert Freund
Learning & Development , Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation NHS Trust
March 20, 2014

Seems to have a good overview of CPS in an experiential approach

Dr Jeff Hornsby
Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Missouri - Kansas City
July 31, 2013

Hands-on approach to problem solving with strategies that can easily be put into practice.

Dr Nadine Tchelebi
Business Law , University of the West of England, Bristol
April 29, 2013

This book provides very clear and detailed description of each aspect opf a relatively complex model. It is very practical and illustrated with some useful examples. As one would expect the work is very systematic and comprehensive, with useful reflective tasks. The case studies aid understanding, and the tips for getting started are useful. Good web site too.

Mr Peter Hammond
business, University of Teesside
September 29, 2012

Recommended text for the Business Methods module. Steps student through problem solving concepts from idea generation to evaluation through to implementation.

Ms Julie Devereux
Department of Computer Science and Statistics, Trinity College Dublin
July 28, 2012

Nopt what I expected for use in this class but good generally for a mid level management class. Perhaps in the future.

Dr Lawrence Audler
Business Administration , Our Lady of Holy Cross College
June 2, 2012

Fits well with our course and has a resource site.

William Haney
Business Administration Dept, Brenau University
March 29, 2012

For instructors

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