Solving or Creating?

The greatest statesmen in history have not been problem solvers. They have been builders and creators.

Robert Fritz – Author

There is a profound difference between problem solving and creating Problem solving is taking action to have something to go away – the problem. Creating is taking action to have some thing come into being  – the creation. Most of us have been raised n the tradition of problem solving and have little insight or experience in to the creative process.

Problem solvers propose elaborate schemes to identify and define the problem, and equally detailed analyses of the best solutions and options. If successful you may eliminate the problem; you have the absence of something. But you still do not have the presence of a result you want to create.

We do have many problems that constantly need solving. But from politics to education, from business to church ministry, problem solving will never create the outcomes, the preferable futures, the compelling alternatives that we seek. That is simply because elimination of anything no matter how bad never creates anything.

Is God fundamentally a problem solver or creator? What do we typically ask of God? What is you fundamental orientation? How much time do you spend on each? What are the concrete ways to move toward creating? Can you see creating something simultaneously that can solve some of the problems you had? What is your creative process?

Concretely?  Think about a personal best on creating something.  Go back and try and think about your state of mind, the environment you were in, the intuitional sense you had.  Now how did you prototype that new thing about to be born?  What experiments did you try?  How long did it take?  These questions will start to get you in touch with your process and what it takes to creatively birth instead of laboriously solve.

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5 Responses to “Solving or Creating?”

  1. I love this concept. I wonder if this is why the poets, writers and artists sometimes have more influence and impact than their left-brained counterparts? Being able to visualize and communicate what could be is more important than being able to diagnose what is.

  2. Ok. Very cool. This is a good challenge and does address the bane of problem solving with creativity. In Matthew May’s (formerly a master instructor with Toyota) 7 Sins of Solutions, which I think is an excerpt from his book Elegant Solutions, he takes a breakthrough approach to problem solving. He proposes we apply pressure to our rutted thinking and incubate versus implement. Great advice for me as I can be a knee-jerk, ‘let’s tweak an old solution for this problem” kind of guy. Sounds like we’re all tracking but problem solving is a significant part of my world, so my initial response was to push back. But, this makes sense in some new ways for me.

  3. God created them male and female in His image. Wow! How creative He is and chose woman for the formation/womb/birthing process. However, she was not originally intended to have hard labor, not before her fall. I wonder what from the make up of “woman” can be/must be redeemed and implemented for the birthing, nursing, and nurturing those things needing action? Yet He knew them (the little creations) before they came out of their mother’s wombs….

    I tend to lean towards being artistically strong yet I must continually ask God what He is creating, so I won’t be tempted to try and solve or even create for that matter.

  4. I agree with the basic premise of this article. As a creative I approach problem solving from a wholeness perspective which tends to be discounted in the current societal status quo. The Creatives are often the most ignored and discarded people in our society because of the overarching economic superstructures. the creatives are often plundered after being subdued and beaten down.
    Ideas are often taken from these types of people and used in a right brain manner by the status quo leaders, which distorts the original idea and decreases its effective implementation. In other words the intended outcomes are perverted and create a corresponding cascade effect of unintended consequences. American society at present is experiencing this at the macro level which is one reason as to why society has become so chaotic, bitter and disjointed. This is the result of discouragement and control mechanisms. The consequences are innumerable.

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