Facilitating Creative Problem Solving

Innovating on demand can be tough. When resources are tight, scrutiny is high and you feel you’re running faster and faster on the ‘hamster wheel’ of short-term delivery… well, the chances of introducing novel change are very slim.

Creativity is the generation and development of novel and useful ideas. Innovation turns those ideas into value. We can have creativity without innovation, but we can’t have innovation without creativity.

Organisations talk a lot about innovation, but most don’t understand creativity. Learn to enable breakthrough thinking when you need it, and enjoy a practice-focused tour of the last 60 years of learning about creative thinking.

This 3-day course is an intensive, skills-building experience, where participants learn to facilitate creative problem solving in groups. Participants take turns in three roles, working as part of a learning ‘lab’:

  1. Facilitating the group, and learning to use a series of creative problem solving tools. (Research indicates that a trained facilitator can enhance the generating productivity of groups by 400-600% (Isaksen & Gaulin, 2005*.)
  2. Being a problem-owning ‘client’, and bringing to the group a challenge that needs the ideas of others.
  3. Being a member of the ‘resource group’ – the group that generates and shortlists ideas to help solve the client’s challenge.

The course is highly experiential and works best with a maximum group size of 8 people per facilitator.

Target audience:

  • Healthcare leaders, from frontline to senior, who are aiming to facilitate creative thinking in their teams.
  • Transformation Leads, Organisational Development and Learning and Development professionals with responsibility for enabling others to deliver creativity to value.
  • Healthcare professionals with responsibility for introducing breakthrough change within and across organisations.

Programme dates & times:

  • Tuesday 21st May, 09.30 – 16.30, Dillington House,  TA19 9DT
  • Wednesday 22nd May, 09.30 – 16.30, Dillington House,  TA19 9DT
  • Thursday 23rd May, 09.30 – 16.00, Dillington House,  TA19 9DT

The course also includes access to supplementary support materials and a 1-hour follow-up phone call, to help you plan for and design a creative problem solving session at work.

Residential element

Please note, overnight accommodation costs are not included for this programme. If you wish to stay over night at the venue, we suggest you budget for £200 per delegate for potential accommodation costs. This is based on an assumption of two accommodation nights needed during multi-day modules. Staying overnight is not mandatory on this programme. You can travel home if you are able to do this.

What to expect/ Aims and Objectives

During the course, participants learn to work through the divergent and convergent phases of a creative problem solving process. They learn:

  • 12 idea generation and selection tools.
  • 8 rules for effective divergent and convergent thinking.
  • Effective facilitation tips and practices, to enable groups to develop novel and useful ideas.
  • Their preferred problem solving style, and how this is likely to influence their approach as a facilitator.
  • To optimise their strengths and adapt their approach to group creative facilitation. (Participants receive 1:1 feedback on their facilitation skills during the event.)


Rob Sheffield

Rob is an experienced organisational development professional with 25 years’ experience of enabling change in organisations. He has held management roles in the publishing, direct marketing, education and aerospace sectors. Rob has been running his consultancy business since 1999, working nationally and globally across private, public and community sectors. He has just written the book “How Leaders Learn to Boost Creativity in Teams: Innovation Catalysts”, which contains real-life cases from healthcare, technology, law and education.

Applications for this programme have now closed.


Key Dates:

Tuesday 21st - Thursday 23rd May

Receive our ‘Outlook’ newsletter

Latest issue: May Newsletter  

To receive updates about the team and what programmes are on offer, just click below to sign up!


Contact us

NHS South West Leadership Academy
South West House
Blackbrook Park Avenue
Somerset TA1 2PX

Telephone: 01454 252719

Email: leadership.SW@leadershipacademy.nhs.uk



Privacy policy