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When: Friday, 21 July @ 1pm EST (5pm GMT / 10:30pm IST)
Topic: How to Problem Solve Creatively
About This Week’s Chat
I’ve been training in gyms for many years, and I also worked in the fitness industry for a long time. A few months ago I started training at a new gym.
I knew from the beginning that there was something different about this gym, but I hadn’t yet figured out what it was. I soon realized that the owner had solved some standard gym challenges by thinking differently about how certain things should be done.
One of the problems that gyms face is that people often only train for a week or two after they join and then they leave. It usually happens because they don’t have clear goals or because they feel awkward and uncomfortable working out in front of others.
But, at this gym, the person who signs you up is a professional fitness consultant who helps you to set goals based on a personalized assessment from the day you join. In other gyms, this task is usually left up to a fitness instructor or to the person who joins. The way this fitness consultant helps you to set goals gives you a reason to want to come back every day and it sets you up for long-term success.
When you go to train for the first time, your fitness consultant introduces you to a “fitness marshall,” and he or she makes sure that you meet all the fitness marshalls on duty that day.
The layout of the gym is also different from the norm. There is a central area where the fitness marshalls work from. From this position they can see everyone who enters the gym and they greet everybody by name – yes, really! This means that you don’t feel awkward and strange when you walk into the gym for the first few days, which increases the likelihood of you coming back.
The rest of the equipment is set up around this central area and, from there, the fitness marshalls have control over what happens on the fitness floor. They train clients there and create a fun atmosphere where energy and lots of laughter is at the heart of what happens.
The owner is definitely not a “it’s always been done that way” kind of guy. He’s willing to push the boundaries of what’s usually expected of a gym. With some simple changes, he’s been able to solve a few classical gym challenges and, in the process, he’s helped to improve many people’s health and wellbeing.
One of the ways to problem solve creatively is by being willing to ask questions that challenge how things have always been done. You also have to be willing to look at things without making any assumptions that something will only work if it is done in a certain way.
A great way to challenge your thinking is by asking a hypothetical question or stating an “impossible” challenge as your starting point. How about creating a vacuum cleaner that costs only one dollar? Or shoes that you can fold up and put in your wallet?
How to Problem Solve Creatively
We’re going to talk about “How to Problem Solve Creatively” during our #MTtalk Twitter chat this week. One of our regular participants, Vijay Mahajan or @thevijaymahajan as we know him, suggested the topic.
In last week’s poll we asked you what factors helped you to perform best when you have to problem solve creatively – 36 percent of you said that you’re at you’re best in groups and 21 percent of you fared better when you were put under pressure. For all the options and responses, take a look at the poll here.
We’d love you to participate in our upcoming chat on creative problem solving and the following questions can help you to spark some thoughts in preparation for it:
- What do we mean by creativity in problem solving?
- Which tools do you like to use to generate creative ideas?
- How can your physical environment help you to be at your creative best?
- What conditions can stifle solving problems creatively in the workplace?
- What attitudes or mindsets help you to solve problems creatively in the workplace?
- Have you ever approached the idea-generating (ideating) stage of problem solving in an unconventional way? What did you do?
- Why do we need creativity in problem solving?
To help you to prepare for the chat, we’ve also compiled a list of resources for you to browse:
- Understanding Creativity
- TRIZ: A Powerful Methodology for Creative Problem Solving
- Metaphorical Thinking
- The Reframing Matrix
At Mind Tools we like hearing from people all over the globe. We’d like to learn from you too and we invite you to participate in the #MTtalk chat this Friday at 1pm EST (5pm GMT; 10:30pm IST). Remember, we feature great participant responses right here in our blog every week!
How to Join
Follow us on Twitter to make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday!
We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat.
To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hash tag #MTtalk in your responses.