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7 Lessons for Creative Problem Solving

Creative problem solving is easily one of the most important tools you should keep in your front pocket at all times in general. Moreover, it’s incredibly valuable when you’re on a shoot with a deadline, clients standing around, and talent waiting for your cue.   The first lesson in creative problem solving is… DON’T FREAK OUT. Instead, take the energy you were going to use on freaking out and put it into calmly and efficiently finding a solution. Keep a steady breath and focus. The second lesson in creative problem solving is… THERE IS ALWAYS A SOLUTION. Some more innovative than others, but they’re there, even if it means outsourcing. The third lesson in creative problem solving is… PAY ATTENTION. If you don’t know the basics of the shoot you’re on, it’s going to be hard for you to work with your team to come up with a handy solution. Listen and observe. The fourth lesson in creative problem solving is… ASK QUESTIONS. Ask them all. I don’t care how ignorant you think you might sound, and you shouldn’t either. The only bad question is the one not asked. Asking the question could spark connecting gaps in someone there who knows more than you about something. The fifth lesson in creative problem solving is… USE EVERYTHING. Keep your mind open. Creative problem solving involves abstract thinking and searching all the nooks and crannies of your mind. The sixth lesson in creative problem solving is… HAVE CONFIDENCE, TRY THINGS, AND KNOW WHEN TO TRUST YOURSELF. Insert yourself when everyone else gives off the vibe that they’re struggling. Or hang back and observe if you feel like you’ll only get in the way. In either course taken, try not to waver emotionally and mentally. You’ll need all your energy directed toward a solution, not second guessing yourself. The seventh and final lesson in creative problem solving is… KNOW WHEN SOMETHING’S NOT WORKING AND CHANGE COURSE. Have the humility to admit to yourself, your team, the client, talent, etc., that you can’t find a solution and that deeper trouble shooting needs to take place so you’re going to reach out to x, y, z. Apologize for inconveniences, but stand firm in your confidence and reassure them that a solution will be reached.   Creative problem solving is a major part of living, especially as a creative working in a creative field. Things are going to go awry, so it’s smart to be preemptive and have an open mind. When something does go amiss, you’ll be able to handle it efficiently, calmly, with focus, confidence, and humility.  


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