Creative Problem Solving and Decision Making


Critical thinking is an essential skill for the modern, innovative workplace and, at whatever level of an organisation, it is necessary to be able to solve problems and make decisions. On this intensive and practical course, participants will learn and test numerous approaches, tools, models and more for critical thinking, creativity, problem solving and decision making and build these fundamental and desirable workplace competences.

This course will provide participants will all of the tools and approaches they need to effectively solve problems, make decisions and think critically.

Course Length:

Three days.


Face-to-face or virtual group course.


Having attended this course, participants will:

1. Have a wide range of tools for analysing organisations and their environment, finding root causes, considering impacts and much more.

2. Be better able to make decisions, consider impacts and outcomes, and handle the issue of risk.

3. Have developed their creativity, initiative and lateral thinking.

4. Be able to brainstorm, troubleshoot and present ideas and recommendations.

5. Have advanced their critical thinking and undertaken case study analysis.

Who Should Attend:

The course is aimed at anyone whose work calls upon them to think critically and creatively and who needs to solve problems and make effective decisions.

Key Features of the Course:

- Language of problems

- Types of effect

- Root cause analysis including fishbone diagrams

- Analytical tools for organisations and their environments (PESTLE, SWOT, Five Forces and more)

- Decision making tools and approaches

- Levels of thinking and reasoning

- Coaching approaches

- Quality tools

- Benchmarking and tools for analysing products and services

- Creativity and innovation

- Planning and project tools

- The Eisenhower Matrix

- Using the works of Edward De Bono (lateral thinking, thinking hats, value medals, frames)

- An introduction to Six Sigma and DMAIC

- Arguing, influencing and presenting ideas

- Case study analysis

- Personal action planning

Recommended Reading:

De Bono, Edward (1990) Lateral Thinking. London: Penguin.

De Bono, Edward (2000) Six Thinking Hats. London: Penguin.

De Bono, Edward (2005) The Six Value Medals. London: Vermilion.

De Bono, Edward (2008) Six Frames for Thinking About Information. London: Vermilion.

Evans, Vaughan (2013) Key Strategy Tools: The 80+ Tools for Every Manager to Build a Winning Strategy. Harlow: Pearson Education.

McGrath, James and Bates, Bob (2013) The Little Book of Big Management Theories and How to Use Them. Harlow, England: Pearson.

Sloane, Paul (2017) The Leader’s Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills 3rd edition. London: Kogan Page.

Outline / Technical Proposal:


"A problem is simply the difference between what one has and what one wants"

- Edward de Bono

(Lateral thinking, 243-244)

(c) Ben Dobbs, Dublin, 2021.