Thorny problem? Unleash your vision — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
When a problem doesn’t respond to solutions that have worked for you before, unlock your creativity with these approaches:
Delve deeper. Leaders typically devote 80 percent of their effort to trying to solve a problem and only 20 percent to trying to define it. Turn those percentages around by asking people pointed questions, asking for data and research.
Examine personal experiences and successes outside of business that can give you clues about tackling the problem. Example: The Wright brothers applied their knowledge of bicycles to making their first flying machine.
Use visual imagery. Example: Ask your team to brainstorm about a movie that would tell the story of the problem like the one you’re facing and—the important part—how it was solved.
Define the problem in different ways. Divide your people into teams, and ask each for a unique definition. Then, bring everyone together and compare findings.
—Adapted from “Leading Creatively: The Art of Making Sense,” Charles J. Palus and David M. Horth, Ivey Business Journal.