The Business Impact of Creative Problem Solving

By Thom Gonyeau, Principal, Mountain View Group

The Business Impact of Creativity ... Why Your Business Can Benefit from the Creative Problem Solving Institute

“Oh, do not ask what it is. Let us go and make our visit.”
– T. S. Eliot

When I first was enticed to attend the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) – after lots of prodding from friends – I didn’t really know what to expect. One never does, but it looked and sounded fun. I figured it would be training that would provide some mix of personal and professional development. That was a good hunch.

What I didn’t realize at the time was the impact CPSI and Creative Problem Solving would have on my business. As an entrepreneur and creative agency owner, I thought maybe I’d pick up a few new skills.

CPS, however, gave (and continues to give) me so much more, in part because it has taught me how to reframe the very essence of what we do for our clients. That, in turn, has led to deeper and richer engagements and has altered our key offerings.

I used to look at our team as writers, designers, producers – people who made stuff. Now, I see us primarily Creative Problem Solvers who work within our talents, skills, and knowledge.

The difference has come in two tangible forms:

  • First, the Discovery process we do with clients becomes not just how to create a deliverable, but about first making sure we have adequately defined the real challenge – what’s really going on that has created this need for a “something.” With that framing, suddenly our clients see us as trusted advisors with whom they can enter real dialogue about business challenges. It gives us a better seat at the table AND we’re doing better work for them. We’re no longer just order takers, but actively engaged in the business of our customers.
  • The second thing is a dramatic shift in language within our process and this opens up new opportunities. When you start thinking in “Yes, and …” instead of “No,” or when you are always striving for the real “why,” you find your way to the real work.

Yesterday, I was watching a fundraising documentary to promote STEM (STEAM) curricula in underserved populations. I heard business owners talk about the need for problem solvers and innovators, with the skillset and mindset for applied inquiry. That’s what I want for my business. That’s what the companies I serve want in their employees and from their trusted partners.

And that’s what you can get at the Creative Problem Solving Institute. I hope to see you there!

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