Creative Thoughts on Creative Problem Solving – Part 2- Ideation

Creative Thoughts on Creative Problem Solving – Part 2- Ideation

A riddle, a dad joke, and solid content. That’s what you get in this thought-provoking episode.

Creative problem solving is one of the most valuable skills you can bring to any aspect of your life. Being able to think creatively will help you solve problems in a way that no one else has before. It has the potential to take what you thought was crushing defeat and turn that into spectacular new experiences.

In the second episode of the series, we focus on an essential tool in the creative problem-solving process, generating ideas. Ideas are generated through brainstorming and a stream of consciousness to find potential solutions.

Get creative with us and brainstorm the best ways to solve complex problems, adding another critical technique to build your successful future!


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Welcome to morning coffee and mimosas. I'm Cristina and I'm. We are a father-daughter duo. We come here Sunday mornings, but you can come here anytime you please. We banter about life, about business and we do it over coffee and mimosas.

Good morning, Cristina is making you late. She's making me laugh this morning from some something she used to do when she was a 

little kid. So I have, no idea why he finds this so funny. When did we discover this? I was like little and I think we were in the car. Where we in the car? Where are you dropping me or somebody 


Well, I could see you in the rear view. 

I don't know, I'm a weird person. And I sometimes do these like little things that I have no idea where they come from, but it was like this little w what would you describe this as, like, if I was talking with my hands, but not 

nothing coming out of her mouth, but she's like talking, but using her hands, like, it's an expressive conversation, but nothing is happening.

And I don't know what it was, but it 

just. Belly laughing and he couldn't stop. And ever since for the rest of my, for the rest of my life, every time I do it, he starts belly laughing. 

Yeah, it's cute. So that's what she was doing when we, uh, we have to get on YouTube. You know, then people would have seen it and then said, yeah, why is he laughing?

People will be belly laughing for a different reason when they see what that's a good point. 

Yeah. Well, whatever we need to do for subscribers. 

Sorry. You're so cheap. Sometimes 

I know. I am. I have to get, I have to be 

a little self respect I have to grow up. 

Yeah. I don't think so.

Uh, talking about growing up, I'm going to need some creative problem solving to grow. 

Yes, we are. Hello listeners. We are on our second episode in our creative problem solving series. And we did not bring you on here to hear what the bot from last week had to say about creative problem solving. Right?

Brought you on here to tell you about some tools 

and what we say about creative problem solving. 

Yeah, I am so excited though. Dad, before we jump in. Yes, I had my first float of the season yesterday. Oh, in your pool? Yes. Oh, so happy summer, everybody. 

That's correct. It is the summer season, summer 

has officially kicked off.

So all of a sudden it feels like there are no problems. Like we're doing this series on creative problem solving. And I, it feels unnecessary now. 

Okay. Well, you know, store it up, you know, the problems were always around the corner. 

That's why I'm an optimist here. Floating, floating, solves all problems.

Okay, good. that's the end of the episode, guys float your problems away. Yeah, 

until the little thing you're floating on, pops a hole in it and he was sink that.

I'm sure we could find a creative solution for that. I am sure there is a creative solution. 

So I'm going to start this off with a little brain teaser, because this is creative problem solving. 

Okay. I'm ready. You're ready. 

You're ready. All right, listeners, I want you to think about this through the episode, so I'm not going to give you the.

And it could be a bunch of answers, but here we go, little riddle for you. A man was waiting near a bus stop for his wife to pick him up with her car. It suddenly started raining and he had no umbrella rain coat or hat, and there was no awning nearby to hide under. However, when his wife drove up 10 minutes later, he entered the car without a trace of moisture on his hair or his clothes.

How could he have done this? I can't, 

as you're reading, this is this riddle about, you know, this is very much like a day in your life. Not that you'd be waiting at a bus stop, but you could be waiting anywhere for your one. Oh, wait. 

Oh, we're going to, I'm going to get in trouble for 

this one. Also very rarely have weather appropriate clothing.

That's true. That's true. And she's saying that because my lovely wife. Always late. 

and you're always waiting and you never have weather appropriate clothing on, you had no umbrella, no rain coat, no hat that's appropriate. That's so appropriate. 

Yes, but this is not me. And it's not mom. This is a bonafide riddle.

All right. So you have to all think about this creative problem solving. So, you know, how would you, how would this possibly happen? So. 

So a man was waiting. I'm kind of trying to think through this. A man was waiting here for his wife to pick him up from the car. It suddenly started raining and no umbrella, raincoat or hat.

And there was no awning nearby to hide under when his wife drove minutes later. Huh? Oh, well he, oh, I'm not supposed to give you, you 

can't, you can't. And I didn't, by the way, I did not give an answer to Cristina. So she doesn't 

I'm right along with you. I'm creative, problem solving right now.


good. All right. So, we introduced the topic of creative problem solving and why it's important in the last episode. which was last week. And, uh, we also wanted you, you know, and I'm just basically recapping the end of that to say. if you realize that you can creatively solve problems, then don't be depressed.

Obviously, you know, initially something bad happens, you're depressed or whatever. He made a mistake, cost you money, this or that, or business, you lost a big account you know, whatever. there are solutions. you know, don't wallow in the, what could have been and think about what could be and what would.

So, this is where we get to the, how do we get to what will be from you know, the situation you're currently in. That makes sense. 

Everything we're talking about problem solving is it is about action. Yes. Yes. So none of this is in the rear view. It's all looking 

forward. Correct. So there are three basic steps and these are not the tools, but these are the steps.

So we first have to explore the challenge. What happened? What is the challenge? What's the problem that you are creatively trying to. Solve. And that's very important because sometimes problems are masked. It's just like an illness. Sometimes symptoms are not the illness, but can point you there or can point you in a different direction.

So it's very important to know what the challenge is. The second part is generating ideas and then what you love. preparing for action. Take action. What we're going to talk about right now is generating ideas. How can we generate ideas to creatively problem solve? 

And it's not only, we're going to talk about tools and approaches to generating the ideas and then how to discern which ideas to take action on.

Right? that's what these tools are going to focus on and I'm having a little trouble focusing right now, dad, because I am still hooked on this. 

Oh, all right. Well, let's, let's let's attack it. How would you, how would you attack? 

Let's go through where we're at. I'm just saying, if you see my mind wander.

I'm thinking about how this guy stayed drunk. I will see 

your mind wondering just to listen to this may not hear from you for the next 20 minutes. And 

then yeah. You know, if you, if you guys are a little, over Joe, on this episode, if it's a little OJ, um, I apologize, but I'm trying to solve this riddle over here.

I'll do my best to multitask. Right. 

Do your best be 

strong? I'm just kidding. I can, I can put the riddle aside for a few minutes. Let's let's talk about the first tool. And brainstorming can be a very fun exercise. And I think the thing for, us to think about and listeners there's different ways to do it.

So sometimes it's a matter of getting a group of people together in a room or a virtual room. There is technology that can help facilitate it in a virtual setting or in-person, but brainstorming in and of itself. Is literally an opportunity to just throw any wild idea out there, judgment, free zone.

That's the key, anything goes, and that is important. You cannot in a brainstorming session. Somebody can't say something and you shoot it down or laugh at it. Well, you can laugh at it if it's ridiculous, but it still makes it up on the board. 

Well, the key is you can, okay. Depending on it, you can have fun, but you cannot cause that fun cannot be, like you said, ridiculing in the sense that, or if it causes a person to not propose a potential idea.

Correct. the, the environment needs to be an environment where people feel safe and that's where I think you can have fun. Like I could throw something super wild out there and we can laugh. you know, this man was waiting at the bus stop and how did he stay dry? I could say, well, he was wearing a diaper on his head and we could all laugh at that because it's ridiculous.


But if we were brainstorming, that would go on the 

goal that you might be like, oh my God, wait, maybe he was wearing a diaper on his head. Who knows? 

Right. So, you know, you just puts it on, 

it goes up on the wall. Because that way as you start to then kind of like. Put things in categories or figure out what goes together.

Sometimes the most wild ideas spur another thought that then becomes the idea. And that's a very big part of, you know, we're talking about creative problem solving right now, but that's a very big part of the creative process in general. So when you're coming up with. You know, creative campaigns or slogans, or like when we came up with the title of this podcast as an example, right.

That's kind of how any type of creativity is formed. So you want to think about that creative process as you're thinking about the way to address a problem. Correct. 

And this is real stuff. I, in my past, I have been a facilitator of executive, multiple executive retreats, where. Senior people at accompany went to a hotel and in a room and literally with flip chart paper, people put ideas up and we put them up all around the room and, you know, that's what you have to do.

and it's very good to have somebody, that is a disinterested third party. When I say disinterested, they're obviously interested, but someone divorced from actually. Being in that group or company or something that can. Not care is objective and objective third party. Very good.

Thank you. Thanks for straightening me out there. but that's very important and now you don't have to do this, you know, you don't have to go to a hotel and do this and all that. This can be done on. I happen to use a. Flow charting software, which you can get for free or very inexpensive. and literally you can do it on index cards.

You could do it on post-it notes, so you don't have to spend any money to do this, and you don't need a team and you don't need a facilitator. You don't need anything. But the key is what you said, all ideas get put up 

there and your, ideas are forming something that I think it's called mind maps, right?

but if you think about what that visual looks like, so you've got the problem in the center and then you've got all of the ideas that have been thrown out there, you know, different things that might be related to it. And it starts to look like if you are crime junkies, like my dad and myself.

love my, uh, you know, like SVU and then, you know, some of the different, true crime shows, but you've likely seen when, like the detectives are, you know, they've got their big board and they've got the pictures and they've got like all the, lines from this person to that person and how everything can be.

It's our socks, something like that. 

Yeah. It's something like that. Yeah. And, and so what that does that, you know, that's the getting the ideas up and we'll talk about what to do when you have a lot of crazy ideas. And I want to give you an example many years ago. had a, um, I think it was at a rotary club that came to speak.

It was actually utility company, public service. And, they were talking about their creative problem solving and they gave an example of these high tension wires, not the ones that are in front of your house, but the ones that run from the, Generating plants like in Pennsylvania and out there, you ever see them.

They're these huge, huge towers that go through all kinds of. You know, areas and those carry the power that then gets distributed eventually to your house. Well, many of those towers are over mountainous regions, rugged areas, and very inaccessible areas. And they did a brainstorming where an, a creative problem solving because when one of those wires or something would go down, sometimes it would take days to get equipment, to clear the area or to get equipment out there in order to fix it.

And in the, one of the sessions, someone happened to throw out the word helicopter and actually. Person who was giving the talk, said that somebody even kind of chuckled a little bit and, but it went up on the board because it was thinking how outlandish what's a helicopter going to do, you know, to fix it.

But then they showed a video. And actually when someone said helicopter, then someone's else was talking about how they could rig this up. And they actually showed a movie of using a helicopter. In these desolate areas with a guy. strapped to the pontoons, like the front of the, you know, the, like where the helicopter lands on With the tools and the helicopter hovered. And they would actually Fix the wires. And they would also use helicopters to fly over some of the wires to get ice and snow off the wires and so on. Wow. Yeah. So my point is that what was considered silly and potentially, you know, outlandish and too expensive or dangerous.

They were able to figure it out, 

solved a problem. And then they started a new problem, which was how do we find people that are willing to do this job? 

Exactly. That's the one missing link, a robot can't do it yet, but we need somebody. 

So then they say, okay, well, let's go recruit at like, Where are the people that jump out of planes for fun. Okay. Maybe though. Yeah. 

Evil Knievel types or race car drivers. You know, somebody has a death wish 

people that are people that have no risk aversion at 

all. You're right. 

This is how these things come about. And sometimes it's the most ridiculous ideas and the things that sounded 

too expensive or wild or whatever.

That's exactly it. 

It's, one of the things that I think for those of you that work for large organizations at different times, you'll find companies that take surveys, right. And they are looking for, Any ideas or good ideas, right. About how things can be improved about problems that exist.

that's another avenue of form of brainstorming, where you're going out to the general public or your, or to, you know, Specific population of people, and then you're taking that feedback and trying to solve problems with 

it. Yeah. Yeah. And then match it to what your capabilities are and all that. So, yeah.

So that's so brainstorming that that's kind of a classic, you know, put ideas, you know, on a, on a board. And then, another way to do this is which is very effective, especially if you're alone or a small group. Is to do a time limit almost like in 10 minutes, put down every idea you can possibly think of just one after another, after another, after another, after another no value judgment, either in your head or anybody else's just, just do that.

that is also a technique in creative writing or in writing, sometimes you have writer's block. Sometimes you just said it. And even in, in doing to-do lists and stuff, if you you know, you're kind of procrastinating set a time limit the pressure of a time limit actually can squeeze creativity out of you.

It's so true. 

Yeah. And I think also with that, you don't need to, like, we're talking a lot about, Non-judgment as it relates to the brainstorming, but part of that, like with a time limit and, you know, whatever comes out of that, if it's 10 minutes is what you start from. You can have in a small group session or in your brainstorming sessions.

And this can also just be you, right? Like you can just do this yourself. If your small group is just. you could be doing your brainstorming. You have your 10 minutes, every idea gets down on paper. You've got it kind of mapped out. Then you can start to. Evaluate those ideas and start thinking through them, and then you can take, you know, kind of scale back, scale it down to like, okay, well, what kind of makes sense?

And then you can do another 10 minutes with kind of like where you're at from there. Correct. So this doesn't have to be a process where it's literally like you can dump it all out, right? Like the brain dump. Yeah. Evaluate what you have as a group or individually, and then kind of. Take a look at it again and then give yourself another 10 minutes because sometimes those initial ideas will spur new thoughts you to kind of keep, I don't know, fine tuning until you kind of get to.


final, right. And 10 minutes can be 10 hours or one hour or a half hour. We're just using the point is that it's a discipline 

of depending on what kind of decision you have to make, right. Or what kind of problem you have to solve, 

you know, 

it could, I mean, you could literally be, I mean, you could be changing, uh, needing to change the culture of an entire organization.

You could, I mean, maybe it's a simple decision. I don't need any of this, but I think like with those corporate retreats, oftentimes you're trying to solve for big picture things. 

Yes. And, and strategies for the future and so on. Yeah. So, and then you bring up the. Most important part of this, I guess it's all all important, but the evaluation part, you know, so ideas are thrown out with no value, judgment, no criticism.

And then the evaluation is not necessarily. Uh, eliminating ideas, but more grouping ideas together to see. Well, okay. That would, that would lead to this or this should be with this. And what happens is you develop. Patterns come out of that and new ideas. And like you said, they spark new ideas. So you do another, so an alternating, brainstorming, evaluation back to brainstorming evaluation.

it's really unbelievable what you did. No come up with and 

you get very different things. when you have that kind of like pressure of a time limit and time-driven, Also can kind of go the other way, where you give people like more asynchronous brainstorming, where you have, we've got a meeting on Thursday where we're going to talk about something.

Everybody bring your ideas on this, right. Where you've got time to kind of like think mullet over, you know, do some like research and processing. And then everyone comes with A little bit more well baked ideas that then you kind of like start evaluating together and using to feed into your brainstorming.

Right. But both are good. You've got that, like pressure driven time-driven you know, so there's a lot of different ways that you can tackle it. 

Right. And you can almost say, you know, everyone has to come to the meeting with 20 ideas, no matter how silly, you know, something like. Um, but they're pre-written so, right, right.

So people are know the meeting is coming up and you have ideas, you know? Right. Very good. So these are, these are different ways. Um, it's all kind of brainstorming or, you know, helping to creatively problem solve. but they are powerful in the sense that no matter what your circumstance, you can find a way to do this.

And like you said, even if it's by yourself, just. I'm on a rocking chair on your porch and coming up with ideas. No, I don't have a rocking chair on my family room 

rocking chair or a porch. That's true. But I would imagine when you picture yourself brainstorming, you're picturing yourself on a rocking chair on a porch.

Yeah. I don't know.

Um, but I'm wondering So as we, like, we're talking about all of this and a lot of it, we say this often is just getting things out of your brain and onto. Paper like into a no, no into an app, like whatever, and into some kind of a tool like that is so much of Problem solving is just getting things out of your brain you know, or bringing things to the forefront of your brain. So, I mean, We probably guys like listeners, you're probably like, okay, you sound like a broken record. You want us to write things down? You want us to create a visual, but there's so many challenges.

I think that we all have, this is an important refresher because so many challenges that we have with creative problem solving and solving problems in general is just the ability to put things in front of us to be able to like, actually look at it. And I 

like your analogy of putting things in front of us, because what is the holdup when something bad happened or, financially hurt or whatever that pain is.

It is so easy to focus on the pain and the loss. Right. And what we don't have. So when you enter this. Then you are now moving forward and looking forward. So you are step one, exploring the challenge. What the heck just happened. I lost the biggest account. I wanted this so bad or, you know, or whatever, the challenges that you have, you made a mistake and you're wallowing in it.

You know, 

whatever rocking chair. And I don't know 

what the heck am I going to do? Oh, wait, I have a deck. So yeah. Who, who needs to be in the front of the house? I sit in the back of the house. 

You can buy a rocking chair. I 

actually have a kind of a broken chair and it kind of rocks it. Like it's not level.

So they problem solve. so you know it, number one forces you to critically examine, not emotionally, but critically examine what the challenges that you're facing. Then again, Generating ideas when you're generating ideas it's for the future. It's let's do this potentially this, this, 

this, this, sure.

Focus is a major remedy for challenges with problem solving. Yes, 

that's correct. And then you're energized and ensues and, and really revitalized for. To take action on one or more of the proposed solutions that have come up. So that's why by giving you some tools here or us discussing some tools on how to brainstorm and, and ways that make it work and how to generate ideas.

Um, and we don't have to keep calling it brainstorming. It's generating ideas. that's so critical and it literally will buy by that evaluation process and that continual generate ideas, evaluate group them. See what works you become energized and ready for action, to take action on that.

And you will be almost guaranteed to be in a better position than you would have before. And you'll look back and say, If that never happened, if that bad thing never happened, I wouldn't be doing 

this well. And I joked earlier about floating, right. And that I'm floating all my problems away, but there is, that's another tool for creative problem solving.

And it's not the floating guys. It can be if that's your thing, but stepping away from, you know, part of brainstorming. And like when we said time-driven where, it's kind of like you give yourself the 10 minutes and then you take a pause. You evaluate. Sometimes you need to just completely step away, Step away from the problem. Step away from the brainstorming. Give yourself a pause for me. I said, float. I float my problems away because sometimes when I'm floating and just outside. My brain turns off. All of a sudden ideas come to you. Maybe it's a shower. Maybe it's, you know, a good night of rest.

I think that's why sometimes we wake up, as we're going to sleep in, or we're unwinding sometimes. You get these moments of brilliance where you have to just jot something down. Right? so sometimes it's a matter of giving yourself an opportunity to step away, to let inspiration strike and to, you know, kind of give yourself an opportunity to recharge and, and let something else trigger your brain.


right. That's why things are called a retreat. You're stepping away, not back, not wallowing, stepping out almost like in a movie and it's a commercial break and you go to the bathroom, go get something to eat, right. It's a retreat is stepping out and, and come away from that. 

So now that we've talked about some tools, if we were to talk about this supposed man, that's not.

That's waiting for his wife. 

You, I did tell you I was going to tell a dead joke in these episodes too. The dad joke. No, that's not a joke. 

You're really getting, you're going to get, can we, get to the riddle? I think the listeners are going to want to know. Kept him 

dry. First thing going to tell you that there once was a king that was 12 inches tall.

He was a terrible king, but an amazing ruler. Okay. Now let's get, I was retreating. That was a retreat 

going to get a dad joke whether you like it or not. This is just your part of the family. Now, you know what? In the family, you get a dad joke. Every single day, there was a little retreat 

out of what we 

are going to have to settle for a dad joke once a week.

Here we are. It may completely distract you from the riddle that we're trying to answer. So let's brainstorm this. What could he have been? So the guy. Let me 

read it again for everyone. Okay. A man was waiting near a bus stop for his wife to pick him up with her car. It suddenly started raining and he had no umbrella, raincoat or hat, and there was no owning nearby to hide under.

However, when his wife drove up 10 minutes later, he entered the car without a trace of moisture on his hair or his clothes. How could he have done? 

So, if we were to brainstorm, I threw out the diaper on the head idea already. I'm guessing that wasn't

but otherwise, I mean, he didn't have a raincoat. Could he have had a poncho? Is that the same thing in this occasion? And my semantics? Yeah. Okay. Um, 

th the key here is he had no moisture, not a trace on his hair or his clothes. How could he have done?

silence on a podcast is not a good thing, Cristina. 

Well, I've said the poncho, could he have had a bag? Like did it stop raining? We said it started raining. 

I'm sure that, that the listeners are throwing out answers right now. 

Um, you don't seem to like any of these, you haven't thrown out a new brainstorming.

Well, I can, I can give you some ideas. Yeah. Let's do you 

want them to throw me a bone here? 

Okay. What if he was bald? 

Was he not wearing any clothes? 

Well that covers the hair. Could he have jumped underneath parked car while it rains and then jumped out when his wife pulled up? Didn't say his clothes weren't dirty or scuffed

just as there was no awning nearby to hide under, he could have jumped under a car. It could be bald. So he had no hair to get 

wet. So why was the, the thought that he had some kind of a bag that he was holding over him? I guess it's that you're saying he's rolling under a car, 

by the way. It's a dangerous thing to do.

I would not. I would not. Uh, you know, 

was there an answer, an actual what actually happened here? 

Well, yeah, it's basic basically there's a lot of different things. He could also have taken his clothes off and. Kind of correct. And it was wife pulled up, the police would've been surrounding him and he'd be arrested.

So, but he could have taken his clothes off. You see what I'm saying? 

He could have, he could have called a friend. Yeah. He could have there's a lot of other ways. I I'm kidding. We, we, I know he didn't have to put a diaper on his head. There were a lot of other things he could do. In order to stage, right?

The reason I did this was that when you read things like this and it says there was no awning, your brain goes to, wow, there's no place for him to hide that is closed, but, And when we start focusing on certain things, you, you don't, you know, but if, if you were throw this out and start brainstorming, come up with crazy ideas.

Like the diaper on, 

I think it's plausible. What if he was shopping? He was shopping for a child. He had, he was at the bus stop. He knew his wife was going to be late. So he took one of the pull-ups. All right. It's ridiculous. Okay. Anyway, so there were a lot of silence on this. 

Yeah. And I think we probably lost about a thousand listeners from this thinking seriously, diaper, naked, bald.

Come on. You can do better. We 

can do better. We can do better. But today we'll just do that. That'll be a problem we'll solve for next 

time. Let's you and I set up a brainstorming session. 

We will set up a brainstorming on how to handle these riddles moving forward. You know what guys? We tried something we did.

It was good. It was good. 

I find so yeah, if I had a little more time, you know, to, if we were able to do like the asynchronous brainstorming, where I took it back, gave us 

Cristina and I really need, need a facilitator and we need, 

we, we need to reach we retreat. I'll be back. I'm going to go for a quick.

And then I'll come back to you on this man with the rain issue. 

Not you can't drive with it 

anyway. Five, this has been 

fun. Yeah, it has. And so, we will return next week with some more on creative problem solving and. Yeah, of course, maybe, 

maybe, and a dad joke and people are like, okay, this is not what I come here for, but maybe it is, well, 

maybe it is because you know what education and, and training can be boring and we are not boring that you may not learn anything, but we are not boring.

Oh, we are not bored by ourselves. That's for sure. Yes, that's correct. But anyway, listeners, if you didn't find this boring, if you enjoyed this, please. Like subscribe, share with a friend and leave us a review. We hear it helps. We also really enjoy reading them. 

Thank you very much wherever you want.

Whatever your story. Thanks for spending time with us this morning. Now. Go and make a difference in your world.

I'm speechless

ideas down right now about why, what this guy was doing to stay dry. So many possibilities. Thank you all. Have a good week, everybody.