Management: perspective and practice
Management: perspective and practice

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Management: perspective and practice

4.2 Introduction to creative problem solving

Before we get into this subject, let’s get your initial thoughts going in.

Creative problem solving activity 1: What do managers do?

Make a list of the sorts of things that managers spend their time doing (or should do!). You can start with what you do, in your own managerial role, then think about what other managers do, both in your organisation and in other types of organisations. Think specifically about generic activities or categories of action that managers carry out.

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


Your list could include items such as:

  • gathering information
  • making decisions
  • allocating resources
  • sorting out problems
  • reviewing budgets
  • motivating
  • instructing
  • facilitating and supporting staff
  • negotiating
  • creating plans and strategy
  • making links between different groups.

Looking back at your list, how many of these activities involve some kind of problem to be solved, e.g., issue to be addressed, situation to be diagnosed, challenge to be met, opportunity to be explored or context to be understood? Often, the same kinds of techniques can be used for all of these. In many respects, tackling challenges or making informed decisions is not so different to ‘solving problems’.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371