Your GPS already does Creative Problem Solving… and you?

by Mónica De Salazar

Today, a lot of people uses GPS apps on their mobile phones to get to places. It’s easy to follow, it usually shows you routes and how traffic is in every option, tells you where to turn and even if you lose track of a certain turn, it re-routes and gives you a new option.

The logic within a navigation system has certain similarities with the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) and its stages, and it will help us to explain part of what’s inside the Creativity Certificate. Pretty much you can become a GPS System but for all sorts of challenges.

First things first; you need to introduce the address or place where you wish to go. It is very difficult (not to say impossible) to use a GPS system if you don’t know where you wish to go. Being creative on this, if you don’t know the exact place where you’re going, at least you might need to introduce a reference so it can take you there, and from that point you might need to find the way yourself. Being say this, you always need a direction first. In CPS, this is the Clarification stage. We are assuming that when you turn on your GPS you have already gone through the Evaluation of the Situation stage, and you know what is happening in your life or day so that you decided to jump into your car.

The thing about Clarification is that you have already envisioned the place where you wish to go, but you might be overlooking possible traffic issues as blocks, deviations and more, which can become challenges at the moment you’re in route.

Once the address is set the GPS system moves into its version of the Ideation stage, that in this case is looking at the map and finding possibilities of routes to follow. The system certainly does not brainstorm on options, but it does connect the available streets and highways to see how they match best. Then it gives you straightforward routes that might be slow, gives you routes through tolls that you will need to pay, options of longer routes but with less traffic.

Then comes the Implementation stage, were the route is marked in a color and you have a general plan on how to get from point A to point B, as well as a Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA). This is similar to what happens when we are planning for a prototype, since we have a general vision of how it might function if all the conditions are helpful but of course, you can never have a perfect plan because things and new challenges might appear on the way. After introducing the address or direction you wish to go, getting the best available route and seeing the panoramic view of it, you’re ready to roll. Happens with GPS and with challenges to be addressed through a CPS process; getting the route and where the turns are doesn’t mean you are already there. This is the reason why Implementation is so important, along with Stakeholder Analysis, flexibility to re-route and find new options if needed, but never forgetting what the vision is, what the desired destination is…

It is curious how a system can have a similar logical configuration to how CPS works. Of course there are big differences from this to how a complete CPS process works, what the results can be and the approach, but a navigation system is an interesting example of how were are close to this logic process everyday and the good results it gives us most of the time. Now, how would you like to be more of a GPS System when a challenge appears for your company, team, organization, family or for yourself… always being able to envision where you want to go, finding always viable options to go there nd being able to make plans with the exact twists and turns to get you there even if something comes up along the way? This is what CPS is all about, getting you where you wish to be and even further.

¿Inteligencia = Creatividad?


por Mónica De Salazar

Existe una zona gris en cuanto al entendimiento de la relación entre nivel de inteligencia y nivel de creatividad. ¿Son lo mismo? ¿Se relacionan? ¿Cómo uno afecta al otro? ¿Las mentes más creativas han sido completos genios?

Si bien sí existe cierta relación entre la inteligencia y la creatividad, eso no significa que exista un requisito específico de nivel de inteligencia para poder tener un estatus creativo. No perdamos de vista que para comenzar no todas las personas vivimos la Creatividad del mismo modo, y los perfiles de Foursight Thinking (clarificador, ideador, desarrollador e implementador) ya en sí nos abren un panorama y visión que versa sobre diversas fortalezas creativas y combinaciones que a su vez se convierten en perfiles con potenciales muy específicos. Nuevamente, esto no tiene una relación directa con la inteligencia, sino con el modo de pensamiento individual.

Pero, ¿entonces no importa la inteligencia en torno a la Creatividad? Sí importa, y por supuesto se requiere un nivel básico de inteligencia que permite apoyar los procesos mentales en sus diferentes facetas, lo cuál sucede en muchos ámbitos. Lo interesante sobre la Creatividad es que independientemente del potencial natural de las personas, es una habilidad que sí se puede desarrollar a través de la enseñanza, y por supuesto, mediante la constante práctica.

A ese respecto, una persona inteligente (independientemente del número de IQ) que tiene más recursos psicológicos, referencias e información de experiencias u otros aspectos, que además recibe entrenamiento y practica herramientas de Creatividad constantemente, tiene muchas mayores posibilidades de desarrollar productos creativos de mayor impacto. Con esto, la integración de capacidad mental y desarrollo del músculo de la Creatividad es una combinación única capaz de convertir potenciales en personas líderes en el manejo (y hasta generación) del cambio, creadores de innovación y facilitadores en Creatividad e Innovación.

Se considera que solo 1% de la población tienen el rango intelectual de genios, y… ¿entonces si solo los genios pudieran desarrollar productos brillantes, cómo lo logran los demás? La clave está en la integración de los modelos de pensamiento con el entrenamiento y práctica de la Creatividad.


How can Creativity can help to control risks?

By Mónica De Salazar

In the entrepreneurship, startups and new business world, starting new paths can be a real risk since a lot of variables might come out along the development… Will it work? Is this the right market? Will all of the contextual elements help and/or be supportive? Are we sure that this is the right way?

These may be just some of the regular questions to pop up regarding possible risks, and what’s more, these are the kind of doubts that many have and that reasons why there are so many failing projects. Looking at the bright side, failing is great for learning but losing large amounts of money or risking complete businesses is still not so great, even if you learn something.

In the approach of Creative Problem Solving, this perspective is controlled from the very beginning of a project through Clarification. Having a clear vision of what is expected, why it matters for the project and realizing what the challenge is really about is the first step to start solving with new possibilities. It is to be remembered that a well defined challenge opens a world of possibilities to fulfill the vision.

Afterwards, as Ideation stage is happening there is a bigger and better chance to generate options that can later be well evaluated in order to realize how they match the selection criteria.

Last, but certainly not least, during the Implementation phase risk-control is addressed. One of the most common scenarios that set up for failure is exactly the fact that from time to time there are no clear selection criteria and stakeholder analysis to find out what the acceptance of the solution (meaning people and markets) might be. Therefore, to overlook possible risks or not dimensioning them properly can turn into trouble in different levels. Here, to prototype is fundamental in order to find out new data that helps to test solutions and get new data on how they can be optimized before implementing in a complete level.

On the other hand, having clarity of what contextual challenges might be is also an opportunity to creatively solve them as well. From this perspective all the tools of the Creative Problem Solving methodology become very useful and powerful aids that make it possible to both create and innovate in a way that can actually be implemented and gives good results that respond to the main challenges and vision.