What if your company could ensure that each employee learns new skills as efficiently as possible? Creative problem-solving culture is the solution that ensures a burst of creativity and increased efficiency in your company. NASA astronaut and researcher Charles Camarda tells how.
During my 22 years as a researcher, I have learned that using the creative side of the brain is a key element in solving problems that have been classified “impossible”. Many times, I have seen how “impossible” problems have been solved by using out-of-the-box thinking and teamwork. This has motivated me to teach engineers and students how to solve truly complex “impossible problems”, or what I call “epic challenges”.
The ability to conceive innovative solutions is inherent in each of us. It is the surrounding environment that strongly determines whether we are encouraged to use that ability.
In the Epic Challenge –program we have created a safe environment, a culture, for students to try and use their creative side of the brain to solve epic challenges. We teach students to try repeatedly, without fear of failing. Permission to fail is important because failing is, after all, the best way to learn new things. This same culture can be scaled to companies as well to improve learning.
The environment of creative problem solving can be both physical and virtual.
It is important to engage in teamwork physically and have a space for working together; to build trust and develop relationships. However, it is digitalization that can take problem-solving to the next level with augmented reality and crowdsourcing. With crowdsourcing one can pose a question to the whole world and instantly get thousands of ideas from people with different backgrounds and fields of expertise. With the help of augmented reality, people can engage in the environment in new ways.
Sounds good, right? Then why is it that not all of the big companies are utilizing digitalization and creative problem-solving. It is the fear factor that steps in the way. People approach new things with caution and hold on to the old, established ways of thinking and performing.
As companies grow, over time they often lose the ability to be creative and agile. Start-up businesses often take advantage of this situation. They are not afraid to take risks, so they solve the impossible problems and create innovative solutions, rapidly and effectively. Creative problem solving can help companies of all sizes and phases of growth to infuse a spirit of creativity and innovation as part of everyday problem solving and work.
Designing effective learning systems can play a major role in implementing a creative problem-solving culture in companies. It will pay for itself not only in employee morale but in ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of the company by enabling it to be agile and adaptable to meet the needs of an ever-changing ecosystem.
Companies utilizing creative problem solving and digital learning environments will save massive amounts of time and money because all employees are on top of their game, thanks to personalized learning.
Personalized learning is made possible by learning experience platforms and creative problem-solving culture. It enables people to flourish like never before.
Dr. Charles Camarda
Sr. Advisor for Engineering Development, Astronaut, NASA