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6.1 Problem Solving to Find Entrepreneurial Solutions

Problem solving involves more than making decisions. Problem solving is a necessary component of entrepreneurial genesis, used to manage your business and helpful in addressing everyday personal situations. Entrepreneurs must know their personal strengths and capitalize on applicable problem-solving methods to create innovative products. Moving a startup ahead of the competition requires the entrepreneur to use all problem-solving sources and skills in the entrepreneur’s tool box. Problem-solving models can be adaptive or innovative, the latter being more common among entrepreneurs. Problem-solving skills include critical thinking, communication, decisiveness, resourcefulness, business and industry awareness, and an ability to analyze data. There are various types of problem solvers, including self-regulating, theorist, and petitioner problem solvers.

6.2 Creative Problem-Solving Process

The creative problem-solving process is a logical process. The steps to the creative problem-solving process are clarify, ideate, develop, implement, and evaluate. Each step is an aid to creating a solution. The steps are repeated cyclically until the entrepreneur develops an innovative solution. When entrepreneurs experience creativity block, tools to alleviate the block are available. These tools include crowdsourcing, brainstorming, and storyboarding. Each of these tools assist the entrepreneur in innovative thinking.

6.3 Design Thinking

Design thinking in business and entrepreneurship was made prevalent by David Kelley, founder of Stanford University’s Design School and cofounder of design company IDEO. Design thinking, which espouses an HCD approach, can be applied beyond product and graphic design to include the design of social policy, business strategy, services, and digital interactions. The five stages as espoused in Stanford’s design thinking model are empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping, and testing. There are numerous design thinking tools that help develop and carry out these processes from various organizations and companies, ranging from IDEO to Google.

6.4 Lean Processes

Lean process is a systematic process for maximizing continuous improvement through minimizing surplus or unused material in the production of a current process. With origins in manufacturing, the lean process can be applied to internal organizational processes as well as external product development. Lean process uses observation, assessment and evaluation, and whiteboarding techniques to solve problems.

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