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The Smart Solution Book by Mr. David Cotton

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Tool 30

Metaphorical problem solving

What the tool is

Sometimes, when we tackle a problem head-on, we struggle to find creative solutions. This technique involves finding something analogous to the problem to be solved, brainstorming ways of solving the analogous issue, then ‘back-mapping’ those solutions to the original problem.

When to use it

  • When more conventional ‘head-on’ problem-solving techniques have yielded pedestrian solutions.

What you will need

  • Flipchart and marker pens.
  • Paper and pens.

How to use it

  1. State the problem.
  2. Invite participants to suggest a different problem that is analogous to the presenting problem.
  3. Find solutions to the metaphorical problem.
  4. Map these solutions freely back to the original problem.
  5. Select ...

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