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  1. CREATIVE THINKING How to Develop Great Ideas
  3. LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Understand what we mean by a problem. 2. Recognize some types of problems. 3. Identify the process of the problem.
  4. 1. What do we mean by a 'problem'? 2. Types of Problems 3. The problem solving process Chapter Contents
  5. 5.1 What do we mean by a 'problem'? In terms of critical thinking skills, a problem is defined as a question or situation that calls for a solution. That means when you are faced with a problem, you must take action or make decisions that will lead to resolution of that problem. Using this definition, problems that occur in the form of a question are typically those that do not have one straightforward answer. you might be asked, “Why are you voting for candidate X instead of candidate Y?
  6.  How do you go about defining the real problem? There are a few of things to keep in mind.  Get the information you need, even if you have to ask for it.  Don’t be tricked into solving offshoots, or other consequences, of your problem instead of the problem itself.  Do not be overwhelmed when you are faced with what looks like, a giant problem.
  7. 5.2 Types of Problems Once you recognize that a problem exists, but before you begin to solve it, you should determine the type of problem as it relates to a timeframe and your personal priorities. There are two criteria to use in your determination: severity and importance.
  8. Severe Problems These problems may be identified by the following characteristics: ■ require immediate solutions ■ may call for the involvement of others who have more expertise than you ■ result in increasingly drastic consequences the longer they remain unsolved
  9. Important Problems Problems are viewed as important or unimportant in relation to one another, and according to personal priorities. When you are faced with a number of problems, you must evaluate them in terms of priority so that you are not dealing with minor issues first, and leaving the more important ones to go unattended until the last minute. Prioritizing means looking at each problem or issue, and ranking it in terms of importance.
  10. 5.3 The problem solving process In order to effectively manage and run a successful organization, leadership must guide their employees and develop problem-solving techniques. Finding a suitable solution for issues can be accomplished by following the basic four-step problem-solving process and methodology outlined below.
  11. 1. Define the problem  Differentiate fact from opinion  Specify underlying causes  Consult each faction involved for information  State the problem specifically  Identify what standard or expectation is violated  Determine in which process the problem lies  Avoid trying to solve the problem without data
  12. 2. Generate alternative solutions  Postpone evaluating alternatives initially  Include all involved individuals in the generating of alternatives  Specify alternatives consistent with organizational goals  Specify short- and long-term alternatives  Brainstorm on others' ideas  Seek alternatives that may solve the problem
  13. 3. Evaluate and select an alternative  Evaluate alternatives relative to a target standard  Evaluate all alternatives without bias  Evaluate alternatives relative to established goals  Evaluate both proven and possible outcomes  State the selected alternative explicitly
  14. 4. Implement and follow up on the solution  Plan and implement a pilot test of the chosen alternative  Gather feedback from all affected parties  Seek acceptance or consensus by all those affected  Establish ongoing measures and monitoring  Evaluate long-term results based on final solution