It was in June 2007 that I discovered the Creative Problem Solving process. At that time I had no clue that creativity could be used in a deliberate way and was amazed to learn that academic research had been done since the 50s on intentional creativity. I was attending my first CPSI (Creative Problem Solving Institute) and had no idea this would affect my life so deeply.
On CPSI’s website you can read:
“Founded in 1954, the Creative Education Foundation is the recognized world leader in applied imagination. Alex Osborn, an ad man and educator, not only founded CEF and CPSI, but also invented brainstorming and co-founded the ad firm, BBDO. His classic book, Applied Imagination, continues to inspire the work of CEF.
With Sidney Parnes, Osborn developed the Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving process. For more than 60 years, CEF has been teaching adults and children how to use this proven process to develop new ideas, solve complex problems, and implement innovative solutions.
The first annual Creative Problem Solving Institute was held in 1955 at the University of Buffalo.”
After 5 days of intense learning, I went back to work, where I was working on product innovation in a major consumer goods company and started using the CPS process to successfully launch new products for the next 10 years!
Fast forward to 2016, I was at a point in my life where I lacked a sense of meaning in my work and was ready for a big change. I knew I wasn’t happy in my job for a while and had postponed taking any life-changing decision for too long. After all, my life was comfortable with fancy work benefits, but not fulfilling.
So I thought, since I wanted to innovate my own life, I could use the same CPS process I had used over and over to innovate in business. And it worked! I followed the process step by step:
- Clarify my goals, my values and my vision
- Brainstorm on potential ideas to bring me there
- Evaluate the ideas and prototype them
- Implement the ideas for real and for the long term!
It is as simple as it sounds. It’s very logical and organic to how we think as humans. Having my workbook with me helped me structure my thoughts and gave me additional tricks and tips to push my thinking.
So after 10+ years working in a job that wasn’t satisfying and not in line with my values, I am now in a better place, loving every Monday!
I wrote the book “You Got This!” as a simple step by step guide to take the readers through the 4 stages of Creative Problem Solving with 21 timed exercises and help them accomplish the life they are meant to have.
It’s so simple it works!