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Creative Problem Solving (CPS)

Creative Problem Solving is just that, solving problems using creative approaches. Problems that best succumb to such approaches are often ones where there is no 'one right answer' and an explorative approach is required.

A good creative solution has three attributes that spell the word 'NUF' ('nuff said!):

  • New (otherwise it would not be creative)
  • Useful (it solves the problem)
  • Feasible (it can be implemented in the untidy and resource-limited real world)

The abbreviation CPS is often used for the Osborn-Parnes framework and the methods taught from the Creative Education Foundation (CEF) in Buffalo, New York state. The framework consists of the following stages:

  • Objective-finding (find domain in which to be creative)
  • Data-finding (understand the domain)
  • Problem-finding (important to define problem right!)
  • Idea-finding (the initial seed--should be New)
  • Solution-finding (develop seed so it is Useful)
  • Acceptance-finding (make the whole solution Feasible)

To achieve the above, there is a whole raft of tools, brainstorming being only one of these. Although CEF promote some tools more than others, they do not have a limited toolbox, preferring to stay creatively open and ready to adopt and adapt any new tools which appear.

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