Problem Solving Paper

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16 March 2016

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There are many steps in solving any problem at hand. People think that it is an easy process, unfortunately it’s not. A process was created in aiding in overcoming obstacles that may arise whenever an individual has to solve a problem. Solving any problem requires creativity in finding exactly what the challenge is in order to find a remedy to the problem. Throughout this paper, I will discuss the numerous stages in the creative process and select a personal challenge that I had to deal with throughout my life and venture through the creative process in order to solve the problem. Brainstorming is very important when it comes to solving a problem. By brainstorming it allows an individual to have many remedies to a problem no matter how difficult it may be. A person’s mind must be creative but in order for it to accomplish this there must be a challenge.

Looking at chapter 5 of the course textbook I found that there are four stages of the creative process which are searching for challenges, expressing the problem, investigating the problem, and producing ideas. Stage one- searching for challenges:

Serving my four years in the United States Marine Corps provided me with a challenge when it came to leading and solving problems quickly. One of my personal challenges that I had to deal with was when I was in Manama, Bahrain. I was a team leader with second fleet antiterrorism security team also known as FAST. We were tasked with having to provide security at the United States embassy. Upon arrival I knew that we were going to be faced with some challenges. I was a squad leader in charge of 25 Marines under me. In the military there is no point in planning because at the end of the day plans fail and a person must improvise.

Five days into providing embassy security my guys under me including myself was getting very sick from going outside into the heat and coming back into the freezing air of the embassy. I quickly had to make a decision on what I had to do to solve the problem fast. I set up a three-day post rotation splitting half my guys located at the outside and the other half located at post inside. I did this so it would minimize the exposure to the temperature changes that we were dealing with. A decision had to be made quickly on what needed to be done because protest was taking place outside the walls of the embassy and there could not be a lack when it came to security. Stage two- expressing the problem:

For an individual to express a problem it takes a lot. At times it can be very difficult to point out a problem because of fear of getting into trouble. Bringing the issue up of my guys getting sick to leadership was a bit of a challenge because the Marine Corps do not like weak leaders. Leadership expects professionalism out of the squad leaders and they must depend on squad leaders to make good sound decisions. When I looked at the issue at hand it was a no-brainer I knew I would probably look weak but I was making a smart decision. If I wouldn’t had made a decision to prevent my guys from getting sick there would have been a lapse in security and that was an issue that was unacceptable to me and my leadership. Expressing the problem to my leadership gave me the confidence to go through with the plan and feel like I did the right thing. Stage three- investigating the problem:

Looking at the problem I knew that it would be easy to implement the fix but I had to see if it was going to actually work. Now that we knew that going in and out of certain temperatures would make people sick we would know how to set up security positions with personnel that was available. The first three days didn’t go so well but after four days I noticed a dramatic difference in in the welfare of my Marines, including me. When I came to my leadership with the problem at hand and proposed the fix, they told me to really look at the problem and see if my plan would work. Upon investigation I concluded that the problem was fixed even though it took a little sacrificing. Fortunately, at the end of the day there was never a lapse in security and leadership was happy. Stage four- producing ideas:

When coming up with a solution to the problem I checked with the leadership to make sure it was okay to implement my plan. Leadership told me not to over think the problem at hand, just come up with a quick fix to the problem considering we were only here for six months. Producing many ideas helped me have a choice of what I wanted to do. For an individual to come up with more than one idea gives an individual a broader choice, which makes solving a problem a whole lot easier. Being a leader is not hard to do; it’s about coming up with ideas, implementing them and leading from the front with integrity.


Looking at and implementing each stage of the creative process gave me the opportunity to come up with a solution to the problem at hand. Making the right decision was important for me because it showed my leadership that I could perform under pressure. The creative process made me think of many ideas to the problem and what I had to do to fix the problem. If I would not have used the creative process the issue would not have been resolved. When you ask other people what their opinion is on an idea it shows a willingness to fix a problem at hand. Brainstorming is critical because it helps you come up with a solution and gives the individual many ideas on what they can do to fix the problem. Without the critical thinking process it would be difficult when it comes to solving problems. People depend on other people, but as long as you go through the steps of the creative thinking process anyone can find a fix to any problem that they may face in life.

Ruggiero, V.R. (2009). The Art of Thinking: A guide to critical and creative thought (9th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.

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