It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Find the Best Problem

It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Find the Best Problem

It is time to visit the creativity research laboratory. In a research study on “problem construction” researchers instructed half of the study participants to restate the problem in a variety of ways before starting to work. The other half of the participants were...
Solve the Right Problem the Wrong Way

Solve the Right Problem the Wrong Way

We have been taught that our initial impression of what we think is the problem really IS the problem. Here are three traps we fall into when it comes to solving problems that are complex, ambiguous, potentially dangerous and need creative ideas. Ready for a quick...
It’s not broken. Just read the directions.

It’s not broken. Just read the directions.

Excerpted from my upcoming book on problem-finding, a comical lesson in the importance of a pause in the face of a problem to consider the details before jumping to action. Several years ago I bought a drill press for an artist friend of mine. A drill press is an...
Dancing with Coyotes

Dancing with Coyotes

How solving the real problem kept two doggies from being eaten by coyotes My friend Laree and her husband Dan were living in Placerville, California. Placerville is a California gold rush town that sits at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is a lovely rural...
My Tailbone Hurts:  A lesson in making assumptions

My Tailbone Hurts: A lesson in making assumptions

Assume: To take for granted or without proof. Twelve-year-old John is experiencing severe tailbone pain. The pain is so bad that his parents decide to take him to the local children’s hospital. As the secretary at the hospital’s orthopedic department is checking John...