4.1 Creative problem solving
Here’s a summary of what you’ve covered so far:
- Management is a complex endeavour, and it can be difficult to make sense of the problems and challenges you encounter.
- Different organisational structures and cultures will impact on management approaches used.
- Rational approaches to management, while making sense on paper, can fail miserably when put into practice – especially when confronting complex management issues.
- Management practice is also considered a creative art.
- A successful manager goes beyond mere mechanical application of a formula in response to a situation. Successful management calls for shifts in thinking, as well as in doing.
One of the aims of this course is to encourage you to think creatively as a way of improving both how you manage in practice, and how you learn and develop as a student of management. Put more directly, creative thinking can help you to:
- do your job better
- support others in doing their jobs better
- build positively on your experience.
You will now learn how ‘creative problem solving’ (CPS) can help you to look at these challenges differently. The two CPS techniques you will learn about are related to systems thinking. Systems thinking is particularly useful when you are analysing a complex problem, and systems diagrams can be helpful to illustrate messy relationships and issues in management.