Seven Steps to Solving Creative Challenges

In Things to Think About by Mark Sylvester

All of us are presented with opportunities to solve problems every day. Do you have a formula or design method that you use to systematically address the problem? Here’s one that was introduced in 1972 by two professors at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Seven Steps to Solving Creative Challenges The Universal Traveler, A soft-systems guide to creativity, problem-solving and the process of reaching goals was released 30 years ago. Reviewers have said, “This book changed my life.” “…one of the most important books I’ve ever read.” The Universal Traveler presents a design process that describes seven energy states necessary to solve problems and unlock creativity. Here’s a quick list that illustrates the seven steps;
  1. Accept the situation
    1. Find reasons for going on to solve the problem
  2. Analyze the problem
    1. Get the facts and feelings
  3. Define the problem
    1. Determine the essential goals
  4. Ideate – Brainstorming
    1. Finding options to reach the goals
  5. Select the best idea
    1. Choose from the options
  6. Implement
    1. Take action or plan to act with others
  7. Evaluate
    1. Review and plan again
These steps may seem obvious, yet most people consistently skip, ignore or forget one of them. Sometimes it is more interesting to jump to Step 4 and brainstorm ideas. Accepting that the problem is truly yours to solve is also often missed. Each step logically transitions to the next, and when done in order, this process works 100% of the time. If you are looking for a way to solve problems and approach creativity challenges, try these steps on your next project. You will be pleasantly surprised how well the process works. If you’d like to listen to Mark Sylvester, 805connect’s Ambassador, discuss these concepts in detail, click below.
Do you have steps that you use to solve problems in a systematic way? Please tell us about them in the comments below.