Creative problem-solving skills


Creative problem-solving skills have several uses. Often, people associate creative problem-solving skills in dealing with difficulties and problems. However, creative problem-solving skills are needed for performance in any area of an organization. A problem is any situation that deviates the currents situation from the expected future situations. Finding opportunities is such cases is hence the case of problems solving. According to Whetten, there are four main conceptual blocks in decision making and problem-solving. These blocks include compression, commitment, consistency, and complacency.

In solving the problems in an organization, consistency refers to the act of solving a problem without looking at the other ways. Consistency mainly ensures that there is a narrow focus on the approach given to the problem. Keeping a narrow focus results in a solution that is the best for the problem. Vertical thinking in the process of problem solution creates frustration. Additionally, it reduces the rate of creativity. Consistency in the operations of the current organizations implies that t an individual becomes wedded to a single way of looking at the problem. Vertical thinking is a major element of consistency. It is defined as thinking in a particular and linear pathway. Each step in the case must follow a straight path. In this approach, there is less likeliness of diverging from the set stages and the steps in the pattern. The other element inconsistency is not using more than one language when defining n assessing the problem to be addressed.

I have applied the element of constancy in the current operations. Recently, I was asked by my manager to create a template for the human resource team to be used in recording the data for the employees. One of the conditions I was given for the task was to keep the same format used in the part and new columns to capture more data. I took several hours thinking about the approach that I would have given to the task. I was trying to obtain the data that would march the current template, but I could not come up with any right element. I took two days trying to come with the solution, but I could not get the right tool. I decided that there was a need to change the current template and scheduled a meeting with the human resource manager on the need to change the template. In the case, I did not look at the alternative solutions, and I could not effectively complete the new template. I was frustrated and had no solution.

Commitment to solving proving applies at the point that when an individual is solving a problem, they only see it as a variation of the past problem. In such cases, many individuals opt to use the same approach used in the previous problem. Commitment is defined from the “one-fits-all” approach. In organizations, it is tempting to utilize a similar solution. Most of these businesses argue from the point that people get to learn from their experiences. When it comes to problems, the managers tend to rely on the experience to guide on the solutions they give to the problems. The business environment is dynamic. When it comes to problem-solving, problems are countered that need completely new solutions to achieve the desired results. In the works of… there are two restrictions recognized that are relevant when applying the concept of commitment. Commitment is achieved through stereotyping and ignoring commonalities. Stereotyping involves holding to the experience to determine the current and future actions. The current problems in this situation are considered a variation of experience. The other case involves connecting common aspects with that which appears dissimilar.

In my current organization, I have applied the concept of stereotyping severally. In an example, we had a problem with coming up with the solution of retaining employees. The rate of turnover in the organization was high. I was on the board that came up with the suggestion of increasing the salaries for the employees. It became effective. Most of the employees could now stay in the organization. After two years, we had the same problem, and we thought that the employees needed increment in the salaries. Despite increasing salaries, the problem was not solved. The element of commitment was considered. Since the solution had successfully been applied on two different occasions, maintaining it the third time was thought to could have yielded a similar solution. It did not work the third time, and the management had to find different ways of dealing with the high turnover.

Compression describes the situation when the focus of an individual is narrowed to the point that they are filtering out much data and then making the assumptions that inhibit the solution to the problem. When too much data is filtered out and assumptions included in the process of solving a problem, constraints are added to the possible alternative ways of problem-solving. In other cases, Whetten had looked at how thinking in one way might affect the process of problem-solving. However, compression views the solution process as not viewing the problem or filtering too much information that might have been used in the process. When there is a need to find a quick solution to a problem, it may tend to limit the information used in searching for solutions. In this process, the mote of the important elements surrounding the problem is ignored. Solving bigger problems requires a bigger picture.

Whetten identified two aspects of compression. Artificial contradiction looks at the extreme restrictions placed by some individuals when they task the issues at hand. Such individuals place these limitations to prove that there is no definite solution to the problem. Limitation and restrictions ensure that no resolutions for the issues are determined or the solutions only solve a small aspect of the role. The other element of compression is separating figure from ground. The situation describes a situation where the issues present is tailored to fit the data available. When getting to the root of the problem, ambiguous, and inappropriate information are filtered out. It is a problem since that problem is made to look difficult and challenging than its actual nature. The aspect hinders the supplication of simple solutions to problems.

In my current area of application, artificial constraints have been applied in looking at some of the problems encountered. In one instance, the employees had a strike due to poor working conditions. The management was not willing to change the environmental conditions and placed restrictions. Instead of getting to solve all the factors that the employees wanted to be changed in the environment, the management restricted on the areas that could be changed. A team was formed to investigate the issue and come up with recommendations. In the recommendations, the managed restricted on some of the factors that could not be changed. In the case, there was no solution. Instead, the workers complained about the same situations. The productivity was affected.

Complacency is the last conceptual element in problem-solving. It is defined as the state where an individual is not asking questions when they try to solve the problem. Some of the factors that lead to the situation include insecurity, ignorance, and fear. In most organizations, an individual wants to maintain their situations. Employees may fear expression the concern for some problem due to the fear. Ignorance also leads to bias in thoughts. Co-workers in some cases may want to make their workers look inferior. Such an environment creates fear. Employees fear to determine solutions to problems since they might look inadequate.

Whetten identifies two elements of complacency. Noninquisitiveness refers to the act of not questioning or inquiring. In this element, the inability to solve some questions are due to the unwillingness to obtain, information or ask questions. Some people believe that asking questions put them in the situation of exposing their ignorance. Asking questions may also be a threat since some of them may not be corrected. The other element of complacency is the bias against thinking. The strategy is mainly used by people in the management position. Employers put pressure onto an employee to solve problems.  The managers may feel that the situation needs an instant solution. An employee is not given the time to think and come up with the right solution. A few years back, I was employed in a restaurant. The organization applied a corporate culture. My boss always asked questions and bullied those that could not come up with the right answer. In most cases, she made people feel insufficient in their position. In other instances, she had pressure on employees to give instant solutions to the problems. There was no room for thinking and analysis the situation. The element of bias against thinking was evident in problem-solving. Most of the problems did not get the right solution due to the pressure she placed on the employees.

The occurrence of the blocks in organizations

The four blocks occur in organizations because of the behavior of employees. People are used to using the simplest ways to get to achieve their objectives. The main cause of the blocks in the organization is failing to take time to solve problems. The habits make organization management to believe that when a solution was successful in cases, it can be applied to any related problem. Most individuals making decisions believe that things need to be done instantly. No one wants to slow the problem solving and decisions making process. Individuals involved in problems solving problems would always look for the easiest way to come up with a solution. Then need of coming up with instant solutions makes leaders put pressure on employees. With the pressure, many would not get down to have the right analysis but look for the cheapest and fastest way of changing the situations.

Role of leaders

Leaders in their operations should not put pressure on their employees when it comes to problem-solving. Resources are essential to problem-solving. Employees need to have the right resources when they make decisions for organizations. Time is a resource needed by the employees. Having time gives them the employees what they need to understand the problem. Leaders should also need to put together the factors that work well and those that could not hurt the performance of the organization in any way.

Communication is crucial for the management of innovation. A manager needs to identify the needs of the employees and communicate effectively. Through communication, the manager needs to identify the problem and communicate the actions to come up with the solutions. The communication also identifies the resources needed for the solution.


From the analysis, it can be concluded that the four conceptual blocks are commitment, constancy, complacency, and compression. Leaders in their roles need to identify the blocks and put in the right strategies to address them for effective decision making. Discussing the blocks leads to the right employee management and transformation in the firms.


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