October 27, 2015 Rodney Cowled

Creative Problem Solving – Get A New Perspective.

Not only is she a supremely successful marketing & innovation expert, a celebrity guest judge, and minor Australian celebrity, as you’ll probably guess from her surname name, she’s also my wife.

Today, you’re not going to hear from me, but from the ridiculously talented Ranita Cowled.

The purpose of her post is simple: To help you see things differently, get out of the rut and get moving towards your business goals.

Enter Ranita Cowled

“I think for most of my early career, my friends assumed ‘marketing’ meant I spend most of my day sitting on beanbags writing on post-it notes and noodling around with ideas and…”

It’s not far from the truth (I basically have my dream job…) but the idea of “creative problem solving” (a.k.a the world of post-it’s and beanbags) is a toolkit of tools and processes that can help any business owner.

If I haven’t already lost you, you’re probably thinking…creative problem-solving? “I’m trying to ship packages, balance my books and sell something – you want me to do what?”

Creative Problem Solving

Creative problem solving helps you look at things differently. You’ve heard the expression about not seeing the forest for the trees? Sometimes you can’t see the answer from being bogged down in the data.

Get Fresh

Step away from your desk, get out of the office. Taking a fresh look can be the easiest way to think differently. Here’s a thought. Go where your consumer is. I’ve gone to diners to observe older consumers. I’ve taught a school class to understand kids and snacking behaviors. I’ve (literally) stalked people at the grocery store.

Get some Friends

I encourage business owners to do a quarterly brain storming. Why? Achieving growth, true growth is going to take more than just doing the same things every quarter. Find some friends (either in your company, or otherwise), buy pizza & beer and brainstorm ideas on how to do your business better. The less close your friends are to the business the better. You can also do this activity with your customers (or a subset of them). Bring in some superfans/brand loyalists and ask them how they would improve your operations.

Think Different

A simple exercise in creative problem solving is to try to solve your problem as if you were Apple, Richard Branson, a 4 year old, the President. Or try the alphabet ideation where you literally brainstorm a new idea for each letter of the alphabet (don’t leave out Q or Z we dare you!).