Creative problem solving workshops Creative problem solving workshops

This workshop focuses specifically on the Osborn-Parnes model of Creative Problem Solving (or CPS). The process is a structured, step-by-step method designed to help you approach problems or challenges in imaginative and innovative ways, exploring different options and finally formulating an action plan. Participants work with others, trying out a variety of techniques, experimenting and adapting CPS to different situations.

Origins of CPS

The CPS process was developed by Alex Osborn and Dr. Sidney Parnes. Osborn ran an advertising agency, BBDO. In 1939 Osborn began to use brainstorming as a way to deal with the agency's serious financial and marketing problems. The CPS process resulted from Osborn's search for a way to solve these problems – it was Osborn who coined the term ‘brainstorming'. He'd always studied creative people to find out how they produced good ideas. He incorporated what he'd learned into the early versions of the CPS process. His goal was to approach business problems with greater imagination.

BBDO was later recognised for its use of brainstorming and Osborn set out to teach people how to be more creative using the CPS process. He believed that if people were going to be more creative in business, you had to teach them to think more creatively in school. He published the first creativity textbook Applied Imagination in 1953 and founded the Creative Education Foundation to promote creativity in schools. Shortly after this he met Sidney Parnes and together they fine-tuned the CPS process that is now known as the Osborne-Parnes model. The CPS process was developed by a businessman, not an academic and was designed to be applied in a real business environment.

A handout, materials and refreshments will be provided for participants