Creative Problem-Solving Strategies for Business Managers
Business managers need to find the best solutions for the problems that arise naturally during daily operations, but the best solution is not always the first solution. Creative problem-solving strategies can help you to find better business solutions, and they are simple to learn and use.
When it comes to creative problem-solving strategies, there are two types of thinking – convergent and divergent thinking. Convergent thinking looks at a single well-defined solution to a problem, while divergent thinking is the opposite; it tries to find an abundance of new ideas.
Business managers need to find a balance between the two forms of thinking, and it helps to have more people working on a solution. If a manager is pre-disposed to convergent thinking, it could be a limitation when seeking effective solutions. A balanced approach gives you options.
Marketing looks different depending on the industry and business type. An online business might spend more of its budget on digital marketing, but that is not as effective for a business that operates from a shop floor. Retail businesses use many creative strategies for growth.
If you want to engage your customers on the shop floor and encourage them to spend, you need to improve the customer experience; this can include retail store music. High-quality retail store music is modern and commercial-free; it creates a suitable background atmosphere.
Problems as Questions
There are plenty of problems to overcome in the day-to-day operation of a business, but if you want to be more creative in your approach to solving them, you need to reframe the problem as an open question. Remember, a closed question will elicit a short answer and limit possibilities.
Let’s say some of your staff have recently left the business, leaving you short during a busy time of the week. This is a problem with a simple solution – hire more staff – but you can’t hire staff before the weekend. A question like, how can we cover our weekend work, is far more creative.
If you want to make the best decisions for your business, you need to learn to suspend your judgment when it comes to problem-solving. People tend to be programmed to seek an early solution to a problem; solutions satisfy the mind and support that we are confident and decisive.
However, studies and empirical evidence show that judging a solution too early shuts down better possibilities that may arrive later on. Train yourself and your team to find a comfort zone in the dark for a while and wait for solutions to arrive, it’s not always easy, but it works well.
Have you ever been in a business meeting and been shut down by one of your peers or your superiors? Chances are you put forward an idea and were met with a negative response. “No” and “No but” responses are anathema to the creative problem-solving process; it’s better to respond with “yes, and” which will encourage people to expand on their ideas and solutions.
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