What is creative problem solving & why does your startup need it?


Brieanna Whyatt

Digital Designer

Updated 27 February 18



Creativity is often associated with the arts, but it’s fundamental to ensuring that your startup idea solves the problem you have found. Being creative allows you to find potential solutions that are unique and valuable. Therefore, great products are a result of great creative problem solving.


“Creativity is something which occurs when we are able to organise our thoughts in such a way that readily leads to a different and even better understanding of the problem we are considering” (Proctor, 2005).


You don’t have to be ‘a creative’

Ideas can, and should, come from anyone in the team. When you combine those ideas with a focus on understanding the problem and your users, solutions will develop and be challenged continuously. 


Components of creativity

Encouraging ‘the three components of creativity’ in your team will develop creative potential, especially within each field of expertise. This will help your startup find a unique approach to solving the problem you have identified.


The ‘three components of creativity’ (Amabile et al) are:

  1. Domain relevant skills
  2. Creative processes
  3. Intrinsic task motivation


What actually is creative problem solving?




Creative problem solving is based around the theory of convergent and divergent thinking. The most popular model is the Osborn-Parnes CPS model (shown above).

Creative problem solving provides an effective way to navigate around challenges, find potential solutions and test them with real users. At We Are Nova, we use creative problem solving within our startups in a number of ways. This includes things like design sprints and brand workshops. 

Why does your startup need creativity and creative problem solving?

Being creative is about identifying the most appropriate solutions to a problem. The problem behind a product is almost more important to creating a successful business than the solution itself.


Creative problem solving will give your startup the ability to closely define the problem you have identified, and allow your team to work on developing the best solution.


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