OpenSesame: Creativity Is Solving The Right Problem

Creative questions put forth what you want to create.

The time you spend identifying the “real” problem allows you to avoid generating ideas that are off target and action plans that have no traction. Most people believe that creativity is coming up with a great idea, but rather the key to creativity is solving the right problem. See, the source of a problem is usually different than it seems. Generating ideas for solving the wrong issue doesn’t help move the creative problem solving process along.

As I wrote in a guest post for OpenSesame, Albert Einstein was once asked, “If some imminent disaster threatened the world and you had one hour in which you knew you could save it, how would you spend your time?”

Einstein replied, “I would spend the first 55 minutes identifying the problem and the last five minutes solving it. For the formulation of a problem is often far more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill.”


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