A framework for creative problem-solving, a pathway to innovation.

Do you have an innovation process?
Do you approach problems from different viewpoints?
Do your teams collaborate fully?
Are your teams able to creatively generate new ideas?

What is Simplexity?

Simplexity is an innovative thinking & creative problem solving process that separates innovation into clearly-defined steps, to take you from initial problem-finding right through to implementing the solutions you’ve created. 

Its beauty is that it enables everyone to participate in an unbiased, open-minded way.

In the absence of negativity, people can think clearly and logically, building innovation confidence. A wide range of ideas can be proposed and the best ones selected, refined and executed in a spirit of openness and collaboration. 

“That’s a great idea, but…”

How often have you heard this phrase? In most group decision-making processes, ideas are killed off before they’ve even got off the ground. With Simplexity Thinking on the other hand, judgment is deferred. Put simply, opinions on ideas don’t get in the way of ideas.

How the innovative & creative problem solving process works?

Simplexity Thinking takes the four Profile stages and breaks them into two, for eight steps in total. As teams of Generators, Conceptualizers, Optimizers and Implementers work together, the process ensures any given task is worked through extremely efficiently in a mindset that accelerates creativity.

Everything moves ahead in the knowledge that problems are mutually understood and proper criteria have been applied, making the plan of action arrived at not just the most innovative one, but the correct one.

What are the steps?

Step 1:
Problem Finding

This step involves actively anticipating and seeking out problems, opportunities and possibilities. It requires a certain mindset: one that sees problems as things requiring a pro-active approach to resolve. It’s very important to keep an open mind and not assume that things can or can’t be done. We use the term ‘fuzzy situations’ to emphasise this point – that problems can be positives not negatives, and can open new doors.

Step 2:
Fact Finding

This step involves finding and gathering information related to a fuzzy situation. Ways to help make a problem less fuzzy include seeking out relevant facts from several viewpoints, being aware of unconscious assumptions, avoiding negative attitudes towards ‘problems’, listening to others, saying what you think, searching for the truth rather than personal opinions, and using different lines of questioning.

Step 3:
Problem Definition

Define a problem accurately and objectively and you really open up the possibilities so that breakthroughs can occur. So this step involves defining the fuzzy situation with understanding, insight and clarity. People skilled at doing it view problems from different angles and define them in new ways. In doing so they uncover fresh challenges, even that a problem as first perceived may not be the problem at all, and that the real issue lies elsewhere.

Step 4:
Idea Finding

This step is where ideas are created in order to solve the defined problem. Skilled idea finders are never content with a single good idea. They continue to look for more and better ideas, and are able to build on half-formed and other people’s ideas. Seemingly radical, even ‘impossible’ ideas can be fine-tuned to turn them into workable solutions. The most promising ideas are selected for evaluation and further development into practical solutions.

Step 5:
Evaluate & Select

This step involves converting selected ideas into practical solutions. People who are good at it consider many different criteria in order to view ideas in an unbiased light. They avoid leaping to conclusions based on a single criterion or unrelated hidden motives. Interesting but imperfect solutions are creatively improved, then re-evaluated.

Step 6:
Plan

Planning means devising specific measures so that a solution can be successfully implemented. People skilled at it can see the end result in a concrete way. This motivates other people to join in and help the plan along.

Step 7:
Acceptance

This is where solutions and plans gain acceptance. Bear in mind that even the best of them can be scuttled by resistance to change. People skilled in this area of innovative thinking are good at showing others how a particular solution benefits them, and how potential problems can be minimised through continuous revision and improvement of the solution.

Step 8:
Action

A problem isn’t solved unless it’s actually implemented, so this is where solutions are put into action. People who are good at it avoid getting mired in unimportant details, can tailor solutions to specific circumstances, and can drum up support for what can often be seen as risky (and unwanted) change. They also understand the need for follow-up, so that changes become permanent and long-lasting.

The Simplexity Innovative Process actually has a 9th step. Since any solution automatically changes a given situation, new problems, opportunities and possibilities come to light. Thus we’re back to Step 1 of the innovation & creative problem solving process.

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