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The management of Mojo Paints wants to improve the quality of their paints because of various complaints from their customers. They have requested employees to generate new, creative ideas on how to improve their products to satisfy customers' needs. 

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Introduction  

  • Solving problems requires businesses to apply creative and critical thinking skills.
  • Businesses have to solve many problems as they confront the challenges of dynamic and complex business environments.
  • Mojo Paints may use creative thinking techniques to solve business problems.
  • Creative thinking is the thought process that leads to original/novel/new ideas.
  • Businesses need to find ways to break out from routine thinking.

BODY

DECISION MAKING: It is often done by one person/a member of senior management who makes it authoritarian
PROBLEM SOLVING: Problems can be solved by a group/ team√ or an individual team member.

Application of the Delphi and Nominal-group techniques 

Delphi technique:
  • Mojo Paints must invite a panel of experts to research the complaints from customers.
  • Experts do not have to be in one place and will be contacted individually.
  • Design a questionnaire consisting of questions on how to improve the quality of their paints  and distribute it to the panel members/experts.
  • Request the panel to individually respond to the questionnaire/suggest improvements to the products√ and return it to Mojo Paints.
  • Summarise the responses from the experts in a feedback report.
  • Send the feedback report and a second set of questions/questionnaire based on the feedback report to the panel members.
  • Request panel members to provide further input/ideas on how to improve the quality of Mojo's paints after they have studied the results/documentation.
  • Distribute a third questionnaire√ based on previous feedback from the second round. 
  • Prepare a final summary/feedback report with all the methods to improve the quality of Mojo's paints.
  • Mojo Paints should choose the best solution/proposal after reaching consensus.

 Nominal-group technique
  • Encourage group to clearly define the problem/to improve the quality of their products due to various complaints so that all the small groups can work on the same problem.
  • Mojo Paints divide the employees into smaller groups.
  • Request each employee to silently brainstorm /generate many ideas on his/her own, on how the quality of their paint can be improved and to write it down.
  • Each employee in the small group has the opportunity to give one of his/her idea/solution with a short explanation.
  • Appoint one employee to write the ideas/solutions on a large sheet of paper/ capture solutions electronically on computer for all to see.
  • Allow each employee to give a second solution√ until all possible solutions have been recorded.
  • Encourage employees to ask clarity seeking questions.
  • Discourage criticism of ideas/solutions as this may prevent others from giving their solutions.
  • Mojo Paints eliminate ideas that are duplicated/similar.
  • Each employee must read through all the suggestions and anonymously rate them giving the highest points for the best solution.
  • Collect the ratings and calculate total points.
  • Small groups must present one solution to the large group that was deemed best according to the scores/votes in their small groups.

Advantages of creative thinking
  • Better/Unique/Unconventional ideas/solutions is generated.
  • May give the business a competitive advantage if unusual/unique solutions/ ideas/strategies are implemented.
  • Complex business problems may be solved.
  • Productivity increases as management/employees may quickly generate multiple ideas which utilises time and money more effectively.
  • Managers/Employees have more confidence as they can live up to their full potential.
  • Managers will be better leaders as they will be able to handle/manage change(s) positively and creatively.
  • Managers/Employees can develop a completely new outlook, which may be applied to any task(s) they may do.
  • Leads to more positive attitudes√ as managers/employees feel that they have contributed towards problem solving.
  • Improves motivation amongst staff members.
  • Managers/Employees have a feeling of great accomplishment and they will not resist/obstruct the process once they solved a problem/contributed towards the success of the business.
  • Management/employees may keep up with fast changing technology.
  • Stimulates initiative from employees/managers, as they are continuously pushed out of their comfort zone.
  • Creativity may lead to new inventions which improves the general standard of living.

Practical ways to create an environment that stimulates creative thinking
  • Mojo Paints must emphasise the importance of creative thinking to ensure that all staff know that their ideas will be heard.
  • Encourage staff to come up with new ideas/opinions/solutions.
  • Make time for brainstorming sessions to generate new ideas, e.g. regular workshops/follow up sessions to build on one another's ideas.
  • Place suggestion boxes around the workplace and keep communication channels open for new ideas.
  • Mojo Paints should train staff in innovative techniques/creative problem solving skills/mind-mapping/lateral thinking.
  • Encourage job swops within the organisation/studying how other businesses are doing things.
  • Encourage alternative ways of working/doing things.
  • Respond enthusiastically to all ideas and never let anyone feel less important.
  • Reward creativity with reward schemes for teams/individuals that come up with creative ideas.
  • Provide a working environment conducive to creativity, free from distractions.

Conclusion
  • Constant changes in the market impact on business operations and so they need to adapt to it quickly and make quick/creative decisions.
  • Creative thinking can help to solve business problems successfully.
  • Businesses must know how to deal with problems that arise.

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