Creativity & Problem Solving – Step 3

By Paul R. Scheele Ph.D. | Learn

Knowing when you have the “right” solution is often more than rational and logical. There is a “felt shift” that occurs that signals the “Eureka! I’ve Found IT!” experience.

Step 3: Implement Your Solution Plan

Studying the moment at which the solution becomes obvious, research subjects described that “everything fit together and clicked.” The analogy I often use in workshops on creative problem-solving is that of finding the answer to a riddle. Discover the “felt shift” for yourself.

Try generating an answer to this one:

There is a man at home. He is wearing a mask. There is a man coming home. What is happening in this scene?

Notice the picture of the scene in your mind’s eye. Did you imagine a burglary? The image is plausible. How about a costume party? Notice that your definition of “mask” changes. The interactions between the “men” are different. What if the mask is not a disguise, but for safety? Maybe there is a workman wearing breathing protection and the man at home is doing mold abatement? What if the mask is a medical mask?

Each time one element of the solution changes, the entire scene in your mind changes. Have you hit the right one yet? Notice that the men in the scene and the masks have changed but “home” has always been a house or dwelling place. What if the definition of “home” changes? Think of the phrase “home is where the heart is.” Perhaps home isn’t a house. What else could it be? Ready for it? Go to the end of the post and see the answer and notice the felt shift take place in you.

Get it? Everything fits together and clicks into place! Can you understand why it is so important to keep looping around Step 2: Generating Solutions until you get that felt shift to happen inside you? It might take a dozen attempts at finding a solution before the right one occurs to you. Take the time, because you’ll win back the time you’ve invested when you begin putting your solution to work.

Effectively taking action to implement your solution requires that all the stakeholders have seen how it all fits together. Buy-in means everything. Rather than driving a solution from the top-down with authority or coercion, once stakeholders get the big picture and feel the shift into new possibilities for success, the implementation flows.

Consider this question as an analogy for successful implementation: “Where does the North wind blow from?” Curiously, the North wind doesn’t blow at all! There is a high-pressure system in the North and a low pressure system in the South. The air mass in the North is pulled or drawn into the South.

The point is, implementing creative solutions will happen smoothly when you create an environment in which all stakeholders are first drawn into future in their imagination. The creative new future—that can first be seen in mind—can then be “lived-into” before the first actions are taken.

Action Step
Live into the future in your imagination and from the place of enjoying the success of your accomplishment, look back on the path you took. You will see the means by which you succeeded and anticipate how to mitigate any obstacles that may otherwise get in the way.

Click for Answer to Riddle

Home is home plate. The mask is a catcher’s mask. The man coming home is running from 3rd base. The scene is a baseball game. 

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