Creative Problem Solving programs

The Creative Problem Solving track program offers participants a rich experience in learning how to think and act more creatively. Programs are targeted at skill development and designed around the Creative Problem Solving Skills Model.

The tracks take place for 3 times half a day*.

*If you have never practised CPS before, your selected program will be Foundations of CPS.

CREA CPS Programs

Foundations of CPS

Requisite: *None, for all the participants that need to learn the powerful CPS process .

Language: English or French

This program is recommended for those who are unfamiliar with Creative Problem Solving (CPS) or with the deliberate practice of creativity. The CPS process has undergone continuous development and research since it was first developed in the 1950s. This program is based on the most recent developments in the evolution of the CPS model. It will introduce participants to the CPS Thinking Skills Model and to the dynamic balance of divergent and convergent thinking that supports it.

Participants will have an opportunity to explore and enhance their own creativity. They will gain a deeper awareness of their own preferred style of expressing creativity using the FourSight self-assessment and learn how to leverage this knowledge to work more effectively with others. There will be an opportunity for participants to learn and practice fundamental tools and techniques that can be applied to develop creative solutions to real challenges.

Participants will be able to:

  • Assess their individual thinking style preferences for working within the creative process.
  • Understand the Creative Problem Solving: Thinking Skills model and how it can be used to overcome creative challenges;
  • Experience the dynamic balance of divergent and convergent thinking and how to use it to produce creative results;
  • Identify personal characteristics, behaviors and attitudes that can promote and inhibit creativity.

The Art of Facilitation

Facilitators: Maggie Dugan and Doug Reid

Requisite: Knowledge of Creative Problem Solving is required to participate in this program.

Skillful facilitation is now being recognized as a core competency for creating dynamic group settings where people are able to collaborate and make high-quality decisions. By definition, a facilitator is one who contributes structure and process to interactions so that groups are able to function effectively, explore important issues and achieve their collective goals. This generally leads to higher levels of buy-in, active participation and empowerment to take responsibility for action.
This program will focus on understanding and developing best practices for effective facilitation of the creative process, from appraising client’s objectives, to managing the physical and psychological environment, handling difficult situations and promoting functional behaviors for the accomplishment of the groups’ goals. Participants will have an opportunity to practice and receive feedback through a variety of simulations and exercise, using the Creative Problem Solving process and applying a variety of techniques that will bring their facilitation experience from good to great.

Participants will:

  • Assess their strengths and weaknesses related to group facilitation with a specific focus on group management, process management and communication skills;
  • Demonstrate, through the use of a variety of simulations and exercises, the ability to effectively navigate the CPS process in a group facilitation;
  • Identify and experience best practices that foster individual’s abilities to facilitate a group, boosting collaboration and handling curves;
  • Pinpoint specific facilitation skills that are in need of improvement and create a personal plan for the development of these identified skill areas.

Creative Thinking Tools for the 21st Century

Facilitators: Laura Barbero Switalski and Alessia Berti
+ guest facilitators

Requisite: Knowledge of Creative Problem Solving is required to participate in this program.

Language: English or French

A key strength of Creative Problem Solving (CPS) is that it is flexible enough to incorporate many different thinking tools and techniques — including cognitive, affective, intuitive, and embodiment approaches — that can produce often astonishing creative results. In this program you will experience a broad range of thinking tools — drawn from the newest approaches in Creativity, Design Thinking, Productive Thinking, Theory U, Biomimicry, and even the Scientific Method.

This program features an all-star cast of CREA facilitators who will give you an intimate look at the most productive tools in their creativity kits and show you how you can apply them to complex, real-world challenges on the job, in your community, and in your family.

Creative Thinking Tools For the 21st Century is designed to enhance the skillsets identified in the CPS Thinking Skills framework.

Participants will be able to:

  • Develop confidence in applying a variety of tools when using virtually any problem-solving model
  • Enhance their creative thinking and facilitation skills by learning a diverse set of tools from new approaches in Creativity, Design Thinking, Productive Thinking, the Scientific Method, Theory U, and Biomimicry
  • Apply and modify thinking tools to open up creative possibilities at work and at home

Pulling together: Leading people through challenging times

Facilitators: Laura Barbero Switalski and Alessia Berti
+ guest facilitators

Requisite: Knowledge of Creative Problem Solving is required to participate in this program.

Language: English

Lots of things have changed over the past two years. Most of these changes have been in response to the pandemic that has stubbornly refused to go away. Perhaps the biggest change for most of us has been in the way we work. Meetings have gone virtual and safety and health have become top priorities. Leaders in many organizations have done their best to keep the doors open and the lights on but some of the biggest challenges they face are not about product lines and supply chains. They are about the interdependent relationships that make everything work. Today’s leaders need to practice the necessary skills to move their people forward, especially in uncertain times. These include: engaging in healthy conversations, clarifying the organization’s ambition, encouraging creative action, aligning resources and creating a climate that emphasizes creative thinking, collaboration and collective responsibility.

Learning objectives:

  • Identify the factors that are critical for the creation of “We-centric” organizations and the leadership behaviors that facilitate them;
  • Assess areas of strength as well as areas for development related to individual leadership competencies and create a development plan for deepening these skills; and
  • Learn and apply a variety of creativity skills related to managing people, managing process and managing the work environment to affect positive organizational change.

Living with Complexity: Leverage Paradoxes to Achieve Creative and Sustainable Results.

Facilitators: Laura Barbero Switalski and Alessia Berti
+ guest facilitators

Requisite: Knowledge of Creative Problem Solving is required to participate in this program.

Language: English

We face an increasingly complex world, where we need to deal every day with ambiguities and dilemmas. We live in the midst of interdependent elements, that we can call paradoxes or polarities. When we look at the current work environment, we see that most organizations are struggling with the need to offer stability and drive change, provide structure and respond to the workforce’s demand for flexibility, focus on tasks, to ensure productivity, and take care of relationships, to support trust and collaboration.

In this program you will learn Polarity Thinking, a powerful methodology that helps people reconcile the differences and manage seemingly contradictory views to achieve successful outcomes and sustain a creative work envinronment.You will take home a powerful tool that will enhance your ability to deal with complex issues in a creative and agile way.

Learning objectives:

  • Build awareness of what polarities are, distinguish them from problems to solve, and construct your own list of the most important polarities you are addressing in your organization or in your personal life;
  • Develop a “both and” mindset by learning to leverage the natural tension between two opposite poles (and get the best of both sides!)
  • Apply the Polarity Thinking approach to a paradox or dilemma that you are currently facing in your organization or personal life.

Réinventez le climat de votre organisation

Facilitators: Laura Barbero Switalski and Alessia Berti
+ guest facilitators

Requisite: Knowledge of Creative Problem Solving is required to participate in this program.

Language: French

Aujourd’hui, après une série de transformations brutales pour s’adapter à la pandémie, les entreprises et les organisations traversent une sérieuse crise de cohésion. Celle-ci se traduit par une coordination moins efficace, une perte de production de connaissance implicite, et plus concrètement par un refus de revenir au bureau et penser collectif “comme avant”.

Plus que jamais, les collaborateurs attendent de leur organisation qu’elle invente un nouveau climat de collaboration, qu’elle réenchante le travailler ensemble. Après les bouleversements qu’ils ont vécu différemment, ils revendiquent la diversité de leurs personnalités et de leurs attentes, ils exigent plus de sens et d’inclusion, ils demandent que soit davantage reconnu le JE dans le NOUS.

C’est un véritable défi qui est ainsi posé aux entreprises. Un défi, mais aussi une opportunité de reconstruire un collectif, plus inclusif, plus résilient, plus créatif.

Objectifs d’apprentissage :

  • Identifier les facteurs clés d’un climat organisationnel qui soit adapté à la nouvelle réalité et propice à la pensée créative ;
  • Appliquer un modèle de climat créatif à leur environnement de travail actuel pour tirer parti de ses singularités, identifier les dimensions méritant d’être améliorées et faciliter la mise en œuvre d’un changement organisationnel fructueux;
  • Mettre en application une variété de compétences et d’outils de créativité pour favoriser un climat créatif au sein des équipes.