How to "Scrabble" Your Brain - Thoughts on Creative Problem Solving
Scrabble, Your Brain, and Business
A team of scientists at the University of Calgary performed a study to see if playing the board game Scrabble can change the way you actually use your brain. The results? It does. To summarize, the research results of the study showed that people playing the game - especially experienced afficianados - made use of brain regions that aren't normally engaged, including where memory originates from. The general consensus is that Scrabble and puzzle games like it can help improve cognition and keep your thinking sharp.
When I think about what Creatis does in the marketing resourcing industry, it looks a lot like a game of Scrabble. We're constantly trying to fit all the right "tiles" together to best serve our client. We're creative problem solvers. And on an individual level, our employees are constantly looking for the most efficient, creative and high-quality ways to get work done. So whether those "tiles" are Creatis writers finding the right word, our designers finding the right visual or our project managers finding the most efficient process - it's all focused on finding the right solution for our clients.
One major component - another "tile" in our puzzle game, you might say - is our Core Values, which impact and inform how we run the business. Value-based thinking helps us see the right fit more clearly & quickly. (Creatis Values: Doing What's Right, Be Excellent, Teamwork, Of Service, Shared Journey) That's why is so important the employees we hire "fit" our values, too.
And in order to stay sharp as individual Creatis employees - we sometimes need to "scrabble" our brains. That just means we might need to try new ways to creatively solve problems. Apart from actually playing a game of Scrabble, going for a walk, or doing a crossword puzzle on your lunch break - all of which I do actually recommend - there are other proven ways to get creative and face your problem. If you're not familiar with the approach of Creative Problem Solving (a process formalized by Alex Osborn and Sidney Parnes), it might prove a helpful companion in your day to day work.
Creative Problem Solving (CPS)
As a marketing writer and specialist myself, I rely heavily on this process - even when I don't know it - to find solutions to challenges at work and stay sharp creatively. Even just following one of the steps when I run into a problem can help jumpstart me toward a solution.
Here are the 7 Creative Problem Solving steps:
- Clarify and identify the problem
- Research the problem
- Formulate creative challenges
- Generate ideas
- Combine and evaluate the ideas
- Draw up an action plan
- Do it! (implement the ideas)
These 7 steps apply to virtually every project or role in the marketing industry. It's a wonderful way to integrate your outside-the-box strategies and your linear, rational approaches to solving problems.
As a Creatis employee working for the greater good of our teams and clients, the more we flex our "Scrabble" brain muscles, the better we get at delivering solutions.