There are several approaches to problem formulation and identification. Most of these models employ the use of various techniques. A person can choose one model over the other depending on the nature of the problem to be identified, and solution to be formulated.
Problem identification and formulation is rather a creative process. Therefore, this essay shall focus on creativity models used in problem formulation and identification. These models rely on problem definition as the key to its solution.
The simplex model use creativity to provide a practical method for a collaborative win-win problem solving model. The underlying technique in this process is the deliberate use of creativity in defining a problem. The model approaches a problem situation with a joint creative problem definition to provide a room for win-win results.
The model has four stages. The first stage involves the generation of the problem and fact finding, and then conceptualizes of potential definition, and idea of the problem. The next stage involves optimization of ideas, and the preferred action plan. Finally, the parties gain acceptance and implement the solution (Bateman & Snell, 2007).
Simplex model approach allows the participants to identify the underlying causes instead of recurring symptoms. The method has proved to be useful in bargain context. It gives room for creativity and opportunities for participants to learn new ideas. It creates much more harmonious and cooperative environment for participants.
Organizations use this model to solve complex, emotional and issues of high personal risks. Conversely, simplex approach is a complex to use. People do not have the skills and motivation. Therefore, simplex model can lead to uncreative and adversarial techniques. Participants tend to avoid this model in areas they perceive as risky, complex, and highly emotional.
Creative problem-solving (CPS) model uses the whole brain thinking in searching for new ideas, improving the existing ones, efficiency, and coping with the changing problems in a work environment. CPS model can help managers and workers solve sticky problems and avoid potential future problems with the use of strategic thinking and planning.
People can apply this model to several and varied business context. Training in the CPS helps workers to avoid poor thinking and logical mistakes. The CPS allows workers to gain an insight in the correct problem identification and risks of satisficing. The employees can easily learn the CPS model by training in creativity (Kirby, & Goodpaster, 2007).
There is a common misconception that creativity in CPS is a soft and fuzzy approach to problem formulation and identification deliberately meant to waste time. Some people believe that creativity should never be taught. They see creativity as an innate ability. Furthermore, they do not think that creativity can be practical. They link it to arts and artists.
Employees use creativity in creative problem-solving model to provide basic solutions to work related issues. For instance, creative integration of information technology with business to provide efficiency, improve response time, and customer service emanated from the critical ability of employees to think of problems they experience as business, and the need to provide a well thought out solutions.
Simplex collaborative model apply its four stages to bring rival group to negotiations, especially in union-management bargain where issues are complex, emotionally charge and risky.
Both parties have the opportunity to assess themselves and determine the extent of applying creativity, skill level, attempting distributive bargaining in problem solving. It is necessary to point out that creative problem formulation and identification approaches follow the step-to-step guidelines, thus skipping one step might not bring the desired result.
Bateman, T. S. & Snell, S. A. (2007). Management: Leading and collaborating in a competitive world, 7th Edition. Burr Ridge, IL: McGraw Hill.
Kirby, G. R. & Goodpaster, J. R. (2007). Thinking: An interdisciplinary approach to critical and creative thought, 4th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.