Creative Problem-Solving: Solve the Real Problem

Tuesday, April 11, 2023 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT

Host: Association for Talent Development
By: Dr. Roger Firestien, President, Innovation Resources

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99 percent of the time, what we think is our problem is not the real problem.

We’ve all been there. You thought you solved a tough problem, and then it’s back again. Or you’ve worked and reworked your solution, and you’re hitting dead ends. Why?

We were taught to find answers, not question problems.

We still use the same strategies we learned in elementary school to solve complex, non-routine, and potentially dangerous problems.

However, research shows investing even five minutes in redefining a problem produces more original and higher quality solutions than those developed without clarifying the problem.

Using examples from business, medicine, education, agriculture, manufacturing, and more, Roger Firestien, PhD, introduces the simplest of methods to uncover the correct problems to solve. That method? Questioning. But we can’t just ask any questions, we need to develop creative questioning.

Don’t waste your time solving the wrong problem.
Can you afford to spend five minutes to find the real problem?
Can you afford not to?

During this event you will learn:

  • How to use the four problem-solving mindsets to ensure you’re solving the right problem—not just a symptom.
  • How to defeat the first problem fallacy—what you first think is the problem is not the problem.
  • The benefit of solving the right problem. How a piece of scrap metal saved the airline industry billions of dollars. 
  • How to ensure you’re solving the right problem at home, work, and in your community.


Primary Capability Covered: Emotional Intelligence and Decision Making

Participation in this event can be claimed for one (1) professional development point for APTD or CPTD recertification.


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Dr. Roger Firestien
Dr. Roger Firestien

President, Innovation Resources

Roger Firestien, PhD, has taught more people to lead the creative process than anyone else.

Roger is an associate professor and senior faculty member at Buffalo State University Center for Applied Imagination and president of Innovation Resources. He guest lectures at the Jacobs School of Medicine at the University at Buffalo, New York.

Roger is the author of six books, including Leading on the Creative Edge and Why Didn’t I Think of That? His latest book, Create in a Flash: A Leader’s Recipe for Breakthrough Innovation, is available worldwide.

Fast Company, Forbes, Investor’s Business Daily, INC, and the New York Times have all reported on his expert views on creativity.

You can find his new nine-part video series on innovation on the OpenSesame online learning platform.

Roger's seventh book, Solve the REAL Problem, is scheduled for release in May 2023.



  • OpenSesame