There are many people out there who don’t feel they are ‘creative’, you know, the one with the colour and materials and music and paint and drawing and stuff.

And sure, you may not be a master with pen and pencil or notes or writing, but you can be creative in your problem solving, in your thinking, in your approach to situations.

Think laterally is an oft-quoted adage, but what does it mean?  How can you think laterally?

How do you normally approach a situation?  Do you make spontaneous decisions?  If you do, perhaps you can sit down and make a list of the different options with the pros and cons of each.  Perhaps you can wait an extra day or week before committing to your solution to see whether it is still the right fit.

Do you weigh each option almost obsessively before making a decision?  What is your instinct telling you?  Quiet your detail-oriented voice and question what you would do if you had only 3 minutes to make a decision and start acting on it.

problem solving is creativity

Read.  Read how other people have solved this same problem.  Wiser minds than ours have gone before, use their wisdom to make our solutions a little better, a little quicker, a little stronger.

Write the situation down.  Taking the time to write it out, not just live with it in our heads, can provide a different perspective.  Write it down as though we were writing to ask someone for help – choose your words, simplify the story while still providing some context.

Think about ways you could solve it with $50 and with $50,000.  How different are the solutions?  Will money actually help the solution or can you find a way without a lot of moula?

Imagine you were the CEO, what would they say to resolve the situation?

Brainstorm no less than 30 ways to solve it.

When faced with situations and problems, stretch your brain by looking at it from different perspectives, by thinking ‘creatively’ to come up with solutions you might not have done so without devoting the time to it.