Toolbox for Creative Problem Solving: Basic Tools and Resources

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9780966256505: Toolbox for Creative Problem Solving: Basic Tools and Resources
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From Chapter 1: The goals of this chapter are to: review several definitions of creativity; discuss the importance of creativity for individuals and organizations; provide you with an introduction to, and overview of, the purpose of the creativity tools in this collection; and share a framework to help you understand the four major facets of creativity. This chapter will help you establish a foundation for learning and using the specific tools presented.

From Chapter 2: Tools are quite common in most areas of work - including work with creativity. In the field of creativity, hundreds of tools are available. What are creativity tools? What makes a good creativity tool? Of all the tools available, why did we choose this set of sixteen to put in our Creative Problem Solving (CPS) toolbox? This chapter answers these questions and prepares you to productively apply these tools. We will examine some natural creativity dynamics, identify their implications for using creativity tools, and offer some recommendations to help you successfully apply the tools.

From Chapter 3: Once you have decided that you want or need to generate alternatives to help you make some changes or improvements on a particular topic, there are a number of tools from which to choose. This chapter contains a brief overview of the generating tools in your toolbox, a model to help you choose the appropriate tools, and a collection of user-friendly tool booklets.

From Chapter 4: If you have already generated a rich, varied, and intriguing array of options, and you wish to screen them, select the most promising possibilities, or support and refine them, you will benefit from using one or more focusing tools. The eight tools for focusing options contained in this toolbox provide a broad and varied, but representative, sample of the tools available for analyzing, developing and refining, or choosing options.

Chapter 5: We often hear that "experience is the best teacher." Indeed, applying the tools and debriefing your efforts is a very important part of learning about what works and what you might do differently on another occasion. The purpose of this chapter is to share some of those practical suggestions, based on our experiences as well as on research, to help you make the tools "your own," and to help you use the tools as effectively and efficiently as possible. We hope to help you accelerate and enhance your learning process. We will also identify some additional resources that will support your use of the tools in this book.


Are you ever asked to facilitate a problem solving session which demands creative, innovative or adaptive types of outputs? Well I am. One of the major reasons that I run such successful sessions is because I use this collection of tool booklets to provide my clients with the outputs they are looking for. For example, one of my clients had just fired two very prestigious consultants because they could not deliver what the client wanted. After the initial contact, I suggested doing a Creative Problem Solving Session with the heads of each department in the division. After facilitating the 1 1/2 hour session (in which I had these actual tool books in my hand), I looked at the members of the team and they were speechless. They actually were sitting there in amazement of what they had done. My client made the statement that "I had done more for them in 1 1/2 hours than the other two consultants had done for them in six weeks." They were elated! When I got my check from the company, THEY DOUBLED MY SALARY!! How many consultants can say that? If I had only one book on my shelf to help guide me in facilitating creative problem solving sessions, this would be it! -- Glenn Wilson, President, CEO Consultants

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