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Creative "problem-solving is the mental process of searching for an original and previously unknown solution to a problem. To qualify, the solution must be novel and reached independently.[1]


Creative solution types[edit]

The process of creative problem-solving usually begins with defining the problem. This may lead to finding a simple non-creative solution, a textbook solution, or discovering prior solutions developed by other individuals. If the discovered solution is sufficient, the process may then be abandoned[2][3].

A creative solution will often have distinct characteristics that include using only existing components, or the problematic factor, as the basis for the solution. However, a change of perspective may in many cases be helpful.[4] A solution may also be considered creative if readily available components can be used to solve the problem within a short time limit[5] (factors typical to the solutions employed by the title character in the television series "MacGyver).

If a creative solution has broad application – that is, uses that go beyond the original intent –, it may be referred to as an innovative solution, or an "innovation (some innovations may also be considered an "invention).

"All innovations [begin] as creative solutions, but not all creative solutions become innovations."[6]

— Richard Fobes

Techniques and tools[edit]

Many techniques and tools employed for creating effective solutions to a problem are described in "creativity techniques and "problem-solving articles.

Creative problem-solving technique categories[edit]

See also[edit]

Related articles[edit]

Related lists[edit]


  1. ^ Michigan State University. "Creative problem solving for teachers". ["permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Definition of creative problem solving on Alex Osborn's (inventor of the term and process of "brainstorming) Creative Education Foundation website.
  3. ^ Problem definition["permanent dead link] in presentation on creative problem-solving, on the "University of Arizona website
  4. ^ Mike Vence about the 9 dots as a corporate promotion of creative thinking at the "Walt Disney Company (Creative Thinking Association website)
  5. ^ About creative problem solving in an invitation to a conference by the "University of South Alabama
  6. ^ a b c d Fobes, Richard (1993). The Creative Problem Solver's Toolbox: A Complete Course in the Art of Creating Solutions to Problems of Any Kind. "ISBN "0-9632221-0-4. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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