Creative Problem Solving: 
A Step-by-Step Approach

Robert A. Harris
September 9, 2004

This is an advertisement with ordering information for my book.

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

Price: $22.95 plus $6.00 shipping. For additional books, add $1.00 each for shipping. Publisher will pay any applicable sales tax.

To order the book, print out the form below and mail it to Pyrczak Publishing, P.O. Box 250430, Glendale, CA 91225.

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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
3.3 Causation

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
6.4 Brainstorming
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
7.6 Selection

Chapter 8   The Problem-Solving Cycle 5: Implementing the Solution
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


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About the author:
Robert Harris is a writer and educator with more than 25 years of teaching experience at the college and university level. RHarris at virtualsalt.com