Creative Problem Solving: A Step-by-Step Approach
Robert A. Harris
Los Angeles: Pyrczak Publishing, 2002
ISBN 1-884585-43-4. 106 pp., paper.
This book stresses the practical use of imagination in problem solving.
It will help you sharpen the skills you need to solve unstructured problems—problems
that require a thoughtful and creative approach. Structured problems such
as X + 2 = 4 can be solved by learning the appropriate steps. However,
unstructured problems such as how to increase revenue in a struggling bookstore
or how to increase the fuel efficiency of a car must first be explored
and defined. Then their solutions must be constructed through a combination
of imagination and analysis. Most of the activities of our lives boil down
to problem solving of one kind or another. This book will help you
become a better problem solver in every area of your life.
(A complete table of contents follows the order form.)
Creative Problem Solving
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Creative Problem Solving Contents
Chapter 1 Creative Thinking As a Problem-Solving Tool
1.1 What is creative thinking?
1.2 Why is creative thinking important to problem solving?
1.3 Creative problem-solving methods
Chapter 2 The Creative-Thinking Outlook
2.1 Negative attitudes as blocks to creativity
2.2 Misconceptions as blocks to creativity
2.3 Inflexibility as a block to creativity
2.4 Attitudes that strengthen creativity
2.5 Behaviors that strengthen creativity
Chapter 3 Identifying Problems
3.1 What is a problem?
3.2 Inhibitors to effective problem solving
Chapter 4 The Problem-Solving Cycle 1: Exploring the Problem
4.1 Define the problem
4.2 Articulate the assumptions
4.3 Use a 360-degree approach
Chapter 5 The Problem-Solving Cycle 2: Establishing Goals
5.1 The necessity of goals
5.2 The importance of values
5.3 Consider ideal goals
5.4 Establish specific, practical goals
Chapter 6 The Problem-Solving Cycle 3: Generating Ideas
6.1 Associative techniques
6.2 Analytic techniques
6.3 Creative questions
6.5 Role playing
Chapter 7 The Problem-Solving Cycle 4: Choosing the Solution
7.1 What is a solution?
7.2 Stop-it solutions
7.3 Mop-it solutions
7.4 Solution paths
7.5 Consequence analysis
Chapter 8 The Problem-Solving Cycle 5: Implementing the
8.1 Acceptance and the management of change
8.2 Solution implementation plans
Chapter 9 The Problem-Solving Cycle 6: Evaluating the Solution
9.1 Analyze the implementation
9.2 Determine needed changes
9.3 Review the problem environment
Appendix A Creative Thinking Activities
A.1 Uses for
A.2 Improvements to
A.3 What is it?
A.4 Writing captions
A.5 What iffing
Appendix B Brainstorming Activities
B.1 New names
B.2 Empty the glass
B.3 No counterfeits
Appendix C Problem-Solving Activities
C.1 Analyzing a solution
C.2 A familiar problem
C.3 Many solutions