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ple who absorb all of your energy and light but give nothing in return. Don’t let yourself or others negatively evaluate your ideas too soon.

You will find these hints useful not only for enhancing creative problem solving but for analytical problem solving as well. Figure 11 summarizes the two problem-solving processes—analytical and cre- ative—and the factors you should consider when determining how to approach each type of problem. In brief, when you encounter a problem that is straight- forward—that is, outcomes are predictable, sufficient information is available, and means–ends connections are clear—analytical problem-solving techniques are most appropriate. You should apply the four distinct, sequential steps. When the problem is not straightfor- ward—that is, information is ambiguous or unavail- able and alternative solutions are not apparent—you should apply creative problem-solving techniques in order to improve problem definition and alternative generation.

Fostering Innovation

Unlocking your own creative potential is not enough, of course, to make you a successful manager. A major chal- lenge is to help unlock it in other people as well. Fostering innovation and creativity among those with whom you work is at least as great a challenge as increasing your own creativity. In this last section of the chapter, we briefly discuss some principles that will help you better accomplish the task of fostering innovation.

MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES

Neither Percy Spencer nor Spence Silver could have suc- ceeded in their creative ideas had there not been a man- agerial support system present that fostered creative problem solving and the pursuit of innovation. In each case, certain characteristics were present in their organi- zations, fostered by managers around them, that made their innovations possible. In this section, we will not discuss the macro-organizational issues associated with

Figure 11

A Model of Analytical and Creative Problem Solving

Yes

Problem Assessment

  • Outcomes predictable?

  • Sufficient information present?

  • Meansends connections clear?

No

Rational Problem Solving

Creative Problem Solving

1. Define the problem. 2. Generate alternative solutions. 3. Evaluate and select alternatives. 4. Implement and follow up on the solution.

1. To improve problem definition: Make the strange familiar and the familiar strange. Elaborate on definitions. Reverse the definition. 2. To improve generation of alternatives: Defer judgment. Expand current alternatives. Combine unrelated attributes.

SOLVING PROBLEMS ANALYTICALLY AND CREATIVELY

CHAPTER 3

187

Constraints

Conceptual Blocks

Definitional problems Solution-generation problems Evaluation and selection problems Implementation and follow-up problems

Constancy Commitment Compression Complacency

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