Saturday, December 26, 2020


Happy New Year!

Rather than "recycling" past New Year's Resolutions, 
set SMART goals and achieve them in 2021.

Here is a template to get you started: https://tools2succeed.com/documents/Goals.pdf 

Our very best wishes for a happy, healthy & successful 2021.

Until next time... 


 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Creative Problem Solving: Generating Solutions

The Morphological Matrix is a grid with several different columns. The problem solvers enter a specific attribute or issue about the item or problem at the top of each column. Then for each column, problem solvers generate a list of examples for that attribute. Once there are many different ideas in the columns, the solutions can be combined strategically or randomly. While some combinations naturally are incompatible, problem solvers should not rule out ideas until they reach the analysis phase of the problem-solving process.

 Six Thinking Hats

The identified different categories of thought are assigned to a color-coded “hat,” as described below. The hats provide a structured way to think about different aspects of a problem.

  1. White hat - Facts and Information: This hat includes information collected or identified as missing.
  2. Red Hat - Feelings and Emotion: This hat includes feelings, including gut reactions to ideas or items identified in another area.
  3. Black Hat - Critical Judgment: This hat includes details about obstacles to solving the problem or other negative connotations about an item or idea. Since people are naturally critical, it is important to limit black-hat thinking to its appropriate role.
  4. Yellow Hat - Positive Judgment: This hat is the opposite of the black hat. It includes details about the benefits of an idea or issue or thoughts about favoring an idea. It is still critical thinking and judgment, as opposed to blind optimism.
  5. Green Hat - Alternatives and Learning: This hat concerns ideas about new possibilities and thinking about implications rather than judgments. Green-hat thinking covers the full spectrum of creativity.
  6. Blue Hat - The Big Picture: This hat serves as the facilitator of the group thinking process. This hat can be used to set objectives both for the problem solving process and the thinking session itself.
Until next time... 

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Creative Problem Solving: Brainstorming Rules

In order to come up with a good idea, you must come up with many ideas. The first rule of brainstorming
.is to come up with as many ideas as you possibly can

Some of the ideas will not be good. If you start analyzing the ideas while you are generating them, the creative process will quickly come to a halt, and you may miss out on some great ideas. Therefore, the second rule for brainstorming sessions is to defer judgment.

Allow creativity and imagination to take over in this phase of the process. The next rule for brainstorming is to come up with the wildest, most imaginative solutions to your problem that you can. Often we might not consider a solution because of assumptions or associational constraints. However, sometimes those solutions, even if you do not end up implementing them, can lead you to a successful solution. So along with deferring judgment, allow those ideas that might be considered crazy to flow. One of those crazy ideas might just contain the seeds of the perfect solution.

Finally, use early ideas as springboards to other ideas. This is called “piggybacking” and is the next rule for brainstorming.

Until next time... 


 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Creative Problem Solving: Stimulating Creativity

The creative problem solving process requires creativity. However, many people feel that they are not creative. This is the sign of a mental block at work. Everyone can tap into creative resources in their brains. Sometimes, it just takes a little extra prodding.

Creativity is not something to be turned on and off when needed. The potential for creativity is always there. We just need to learn how to access it.

Here are some tips for creating a creative mental space to encourage productive brainstorming sessions.

  • Go outside for a few minutes, especially for a nature walk or bike ride. Exercising and getting sunshine even for just a few minutes are sure ways to redirect your brain to a more creative outlook.
  • Change your perspective. Work on the floor or go to the park for your brainstorming session.
  • Breathe deeply. Especially when stressed, we tend to become shallow breathers. Fill your entire lungs with air to get some extra oxygen to your brain. Practice deep breathing for 5 to 15 minutes for not only more creativity, but for a great burst of energy.
  • Meditate. Focus intently on a candle flame or find another way to quiet your mind of all of your responsibilities and distractions. For a group, try guided meditation.
  • Write in a journal. Write for 15-20 minutes in a spare notebook or plain paper. It does not have to be about the specific problem you need to solve, but you may discover some mental blocks if you do write about the problem. Dump all of your mental clutter onto one to three pages that no one will ever see (unless you want them to see). Then let the pages and their recorded thoughts go, even if just in your mind. 

Once you get your creative juices flowing, keep them going by trying the following ideas everyday:

  • Carry a small notebook. or jot ideas in your phone or tablet. Be prepared for ideas whenever they come. Ideas often come as you are drifting off to sleep or as you are waking. 
  • Stretch your boundaries by posing new questions to yourself, learning things outside your specialty, or breaking up set patterns of doing things.
  • Be receptive to new, fragile ideas that may still need time to develop.
  • Be observant of details, including self details.
  • Find a creative hobby, including working puzzles and playing games.
Until next time... 

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, November 2, 2020

Creative Problem Solving: Methods of Gathering Information

When gathering information about a problem, there are several different methods you can use. No one method is better than another. The method depends on the problem and other circumstances. Here are some of the ways you can collect information about a problem:

  • Conduct interviews.
  • Identify and study statistics.
  • Send questionnaires out to employees, customers, or other people concerned with the problem.
  • Conduct technical experiments.
  • Observe the procedures or processes in question first hand.
  • Create focus groups to discuss the problem.
Until next time... 


 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Creative Problem Solving: Understanding Types of Information

There are many different types of information. The following list includes information you will need to consider when beginning the creative problem solving process:

  • Fact
  • Opinion
  • Opinionated Fact
  • Concept
  • Assumption
  • Procedure
  • Process
  • Principle

Facts are small pieces of well-known data. Facts are based on objective details and experience. Opinions are also based on observation and experience, but they are subjective and can be self-serving. When a fact and opinion are presented together, it is an opinionated fact which may try to indicate the significance of a fact, suggest generalization, or attach value to it. Opinionated facts are often meant to sway the listener to a particular point of view using factual data. 

Concepts are general ideas or categories of items or ideas that share common features. Concepts are important pieces of information to help make connections or to develop theories or hypotheses. Assumptions are a type of concept or hypothesis in which something is taken for granted.

Procedures are a type of information that tells how to do something with specific steps. Processes are slightly different, describing continuous actions or operations to explain how something works or operates. Principles are accepted rules or fundamental laws or doctrines, often describing actions or conduct.

Until next time... 

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

What is Creative Problem Solving?

Creative problem solving has evolved since its inception in the 1950s. However, it is always a structured approach to finding and implementing solutions.

The creative problem solving process involves creativity. The problem solvers come up with solutions that are innovative rather than obtaining help to learn the answers or implementing standard procedures.  

The creative problem solving process is at work anytime you identify solutions that have value or that somehow improve a situation for someone.

The Creative Problem Solving Process uses six major steps to implement solutions for almost any kind of problem: 

  1. Information Gathering or understanding more about the problem before proceeding
  2. Problem Definition or making sure you understand the correct problem before proceeding
  3. Generating Possible Solutions using various tools
  4. Analyzing or determining the effectiveness of possible solutions before proceeding
  5. Selecting the Best Solution(s)
  6. Planning the Next Course of Action -- Next Steps -- or implementing the solution(s)

Until next time... 

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP