October 13, 2021

June 6, 2017

Creative Thinking Techniques

Strategy
Popular

October 13, 2021

Creative Thinking Techniques

Strategy
Popular
One of the most critical steps of creative thinking is defining the problem that needs a solution.

Starting with the problem will yield better results than starting with solutions. Defining the problem can be simple, but typically, the deeper you dig, the more complicated things become. The trick is to keep the solution simple, but take the time and think deeply about it to ensure it doesn’t need to be more involved.

Here are a few things to consider when determining the problem: who is it affecting, what do they want and why is it affecting them. Now put it in a sentence using the outline below:

October 13, 2021

Creative Thinking Techniques

Strategy
Popular
One of the most critical steps of creative thinking is defining the problem that needs a solution.

Starting with the problem will yield better results than starting with solutions. Defining the problem can be simple, but typically, the deeper you dig, the more complicated things become. The trick is to keep the solution simple, but take the time and think deeply about it to ensure it doesn’t need to be more involved.

Here are a few things to consider when determining the problem: who is it affecting, what do they want and why is it affecting them. Now put it in a sentence using the outline below:

Value Proposition

I recommend creating three to four scenarios, sitting on it overnight, and then with fresh eyes, edit scenarios to find the best-fit solution.

Redefining the Problem

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford

The last installment of the Creative Thinking we talked about defining the problem. This month I will dig into what will give this concept some serious legs to stand on – creating a competitive advantage.

  1. Brainstorm 10 – 20 new ways to state the problem – always keep your customer needs on the forefront.
  2. Edit out the versions that are not interesting.
  3. Edit out the versions that are not accurate.
  4. Define a simple solution – don’t be afraid of crazy solutions just keep it simple.

The goal: find the solution that solves the customers’ needs by approaching from a new perspective. This will give you a competitive edge.

Henry Ford’s approach is an extreme but apt example. Spend some time thinking about your business problem as it relates to your customer’s needs – you could be on the verge on innovation.

Tackle the Solution

Now that you’ve stated the problem in a way that has potential to give you a competitive advantage, it’s time to tackle the solution. Here are a few steps we believe will help you find a competitive, creative and viable solution:

1. Write down all the ideas as they occur.

Keep a record. You won’t be able to remember all of the ideas, and new ideas may come from reviewing previous ideas, or even from combining two or more ideas together. Mind Mapping is a popular approach.

2. Enforce the following guidelines:

  • Suspend judgment – this is critical if an idea feels weak or unfeasible. Ask, “What if it was strong or feasible what would it take.”
  • Every idea is accepted and recorded
  • Encourage the building of one idea upon another
  • Encourage unconventional and odd ideas

3. Sleep on it – Step away from it a bit.

4. With fresh eyes, weed out the chaff, then evaluate your Top 10 Solutions.

After running through this gauntlet of questions the strongest solution will emerge.

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