College Essay Examples




According to Isaksen, Dorval, and Treffinger (2011), creative problem solving (CPS) is a systematic process that clarifies steps involved in increasing the probability of success when solving complex problems. The model encompasses breaking down a problem to understand it, generating ideas that can be applied to solve the problem, evaluating the ideas to identify the most effective solutions, and providing recommendations. During problem-solving using the CPS model, it is essential to balance between divergent and convergent thinking in the steps (Michalko 2006). In particular, divergent thinking encompasses a search for varied, which is enabled by flexibility, originality, and fluency. Convergent thinking involves carefully evaluating the most promising alternatives through sorting, prioritizing, and screening. The CPS model uses these techniques to ensure that the problem-solving process is both collaborative and engaging (Michalko 2006). The paper focuses on using the CPS model to solve the problem of low staff morale in a delivery company that focuses on the delivery of parcels to customers that have placed their orders online. Solving the problem will involve alternating between divergent and convergent thinking at each stage of the CPS model to stimulate creativity and develop a creative solution.

Problem Understanding

The first step in the CPS model is the understanding of a problem. It involves breaking down a problem to understand its core issues. CPS allows a person to understand a problem using questions (Michalko 2006). Additionally, it allows one to recognize that solutions to the problem can be readily developed when thoroughly understood. Therefore, questions are usually used to examine a problem in CPS from different angles (Mycoted n.d.). In this case, the problem of low staff morale in the delivery company will be understood using questions focused on evaluating possible definitions worth considering, the general solutions that these problems suggest, and the important facts and factors.

It is essential to begin with defining the problem of low staff morale in the delivery company with customers who have placed their orders. In this case, the problem can be defined as reduced workplace productivity and performance caused by the employees feeling down and disengaged. These employees are unlikely to meet set deadlines, and in case they do so, the work they deliver is uninspired, subpar, and lacks innovation. The objective is to ensure that the company’s management meets their needs so that they can become more productive and ensure that the customers who have placed their orders online get them on time (Hacker 2020). Another definition worth considering for the problem is reduced engagement among the employees due to doing the same things daily. It means that these employees lose motivation to complete tasks assigned to them because they become boring. Another definition worth considering for the problem is the sluggishness of the employees when they have been assigned tasks focused on meeting the needs of customers that have placed their orders.

The definitions of the problem above suggest various general solutions. For instance, the employees need to revamp their assigned tasks because they have become monotonous and boring. Therefore, restructuring their roles can help them become more motivated (Hacker 2020). Another general solution to the problem from the definitions is increased motivation of the employees to reduce the sluggishness. These employees need to be inspired by their managers to become more motivated to complete their assigned tasks. Motivated employees are likely to perform tasks efficiently.

Low staff morale is capable of having a significant impact on the company’s bottom line. Specifically, it can lead to poor performance, workplace conflicts, and diminished profits (Hacker 2020). The manager needs to identify and address the problem of low staff morale before it escalates. Addressing the problem requires an understanding of the effects of low staff morale. Employee morale can affect work performance directly by negatively affecting productivity and competitiveness. Employees with low morale are more likely to leave their companies or miss work (Hacker 2020). Therefore, employees need to feel valued, as this will motivate them to work more efficiently, which will lead to increased profits, business growth, and satisfied customers.

Toward Solving the Problem

The second step in CPS is toward solving the problem. It encompasses the formulation of creative challenges and the generation of ideas to help solve the problem using divergent thinking (Ravenell 2018). The formulation of creative challenges involves the creation of simple questions focused on the problem and framed to encourage various ideas or suggestions. The formulation of creative challenges helps in addressing problems that may require one to address multiple issues. According to Treffinger, Isaksen, and Stead-Dorval (2005), generating ideas through divergent thinking allows one to identify creative challenges for the problem and develop as many ideas as possible to help solve them. The step of the CPS model will be necessary to identify main assumptions and refine the initial understanding of the problem (Ravenell 2018). The refining of the problem will require the use of dimensional analysis. Additionally, possible solutions to the problem will be identified and the course of action to take.

After a careful analysis of the problem of low employee morale in the company, various assumptions can be made. For instance, it is assumed that the employees in the company are unmotivated, which is why they have low morale. Also, it is assumed that there is low productivity, as this is common in companies with employees with low morale. It means that the amounts of customers’ orders delivered are low because the employees lack the motivation to complete their duties.

A redefining of the problem statement involves the consideration of wh- questions (Ravenell 2018). In this case, employees in the delivery company delivering parcels to customers who have placed their orders online struggle with low morale. The low morale is due to low motivation and the performance of the same tasks daily. The employees fail to deliver customers’ orders, and if they do, they do not meet the needs of customers. Low staff morale has existed in the past weeks, due to the low productivity among the employees. The problem occurs in its delivery process, as most customers have failed to receive their parcels despite placing orders. 

The redefining of the problem involves the use of dimensional analysis. Various strategies involve dimensional analysis, including uniqueness, dimensionality, directionality, consolidation, segmentation, modification, similarity, and experimentation (Ravenell 2018). Based on uniqueness, the problem can be defined as unmotivated staff in the delivery company. Lack of motivation is the unique aspect of low staff morale. Based on dimensionality, the problem can be redefined as looking at the small things within the company that contribute to low staff morale. It involves simplifying the problem to help understand its contributing factors. On directionality, understanding the problem of low staff morale involves looking at the problem from different directions, such as the contribution of the employees and managers to the problem. On consolidation, it is necessary to combine all the factors that can contribute to the problem. In this case, the problem of low staff morale can be caused by repetitive duties, low motivation, and a lack of flexible work schedules. On segmentation, dividing the problem into smaller parts can help in defining it. In this case, dividing the problem of low employee morale involves considering workplace productivity, tasks assigned to the employees, and employee motivation. The modification involves the extraction of unnecessary components. Therefore, extracting the delivery of orders is necessary because employees with low morale will likely not meet customers’ needs. On similarity, it is essential to identify a similar problem. In this case, low staff morale is synonymous with reduced productivity (Hacker 2020). On experimentation, it is necessary to try out new understandings of the problem. Therefore, it can be estimated that low staff morale is characterized by employees who do not complete tasks assigned to them.


The brainstorming technique was selected to stimulate fluency, flexibility, and originality in thought regarding the possible solutions to the problem. Therefore, a possible solution to the problem of low staff morale is by communicating openly with the employees to understand their needs. Another possible solution can be by showing employees that their needs are appreciated, which can be done by informing them about the issues the company is facing. Another possible solution is encouraging employees to speak up when they have problems that need to be addressed. Also, the managers can conduct employee satisfaction surveys regularly to identify morale issues. Another possible solution to the problem is avoiding overloading employees with duties, which helps in avoiding burnout. Also, celebrating achievements can help address the problem. Also, the company can focus on providing growth opportunities to the employees to solve the problem. Another possible solution is giving employees control over their work schedules. Another possible solution is encouraging teamwork. Also, the creation of a culture of transparency is another possible solution to the problem. The evaluation of the possible solutions will be based on their practicality and applicability. Based on the resources available, the feasible solutions that should be considered to address the problem of low staff morale in the delivery company are creating a culture of transparency, avoiding overloading employees with duties, and showing employees that their efforts are appreciated.

Evaluate the Short-Listed Options

Evaluating the short-listed options involves the use of the castle technique. The evaluation technique involves voting yes or no for every idea based on the criteria of originality, practicality, and acceptability (Proctor 2006). The options with the highest scores are considered the best at the end. In this case, the castle technique will be used to evaluate three options: creating a culture of transparency, avoiding overloading employees with duties, and showing employees that their efforts are appreciated. Evaluating the first option, creating a culture of transparency, involves considering the criteria of originality, practicality, and acceptability, then voting yes or no. On originality, creating a culture of transparency is one of the common strategies that companies use to address employee morale (Hacker 2020). Therefore, it is not an original idea, which makes it get a no vote. In practicality, the solution can be highly effective in addressing the problem because the employee will openly talk about their needs and how they want them to be addressed. Therefore, it gets the yes vote. On acceptability, employees will likely accept the solution due to its possible success in addressing the problem. Therefore, it gets a yes vote. Evaluating the second option, avoiding overloading employees with duties, will also involve considering the criteria of originality, practicality, and acceptability. On originality, the solution is commonly used in most organizations, which is not original. Therefore, it gets the no vote. In practicality, it is highly impractical because it will involve more resources in hiring more employees. Consequently, it receives the no vote. On acceptability, it will be highly accepted by the employees because they will complete fewer duties. Therefore, it gets a yes vote on acceptability. Evaluating the third option, showing employees that their efforts are appreciated, will also involve the criteria of originality, practicality, and acceptability. On originality, the solution is common, and this means that it gets a no vote. In practicality, the solution is impractical, as it will involve appreciating every employee, which can be costly. Therefore, it receives a no vote. On acceptability, the solution is likely to be accepted by both the managers and the employees; thus, it gets a yes vote. The first option gets a score of 2, and the second and third options each get one.

Recommendation and Conclusion

Based on the evaluation of the options, the recommended creative solution to the problem is creating a culture of transparency. Such a culture will help in fostering a trusting and open environment in the company. Employees will find it easy to approach their managers and discuss problems, focusing on finding a way forward. The culture will encourage employees to respond to all ideas with openness, which means there will be respect and engagement in the company (Hacker 2020). A culture of transparency will also help the company deal with a similar problem in the future, as the employees will openly discuss their needs with the company’s management and be part of the solution. The solution is highly realistic, considering that no financial resources will be required. The management of the company will play a critical role in promoting a culture of transparency. Organizations that have relied on the solution in the past have been successful because their employees openly discuss their concerns with the management, making it easier to identify solutions. The CPS is of significant value, as it has helped identify a realistic solution to the problem of low employee morale after considering various options. The collaborative and engaging nature of CPS makes it ideal it identifying effective solutions to problems. Overall, the project has demonstrated that CPS is a highly reliable tool to address problems. It has allowed for a careful examination of various options to identify the best possible solution.



Bowles, D., and Cooper, C. L. 2009. Employee morale: Driving performance in challenging times. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hacker, C. A. 2020. The high cost of low morale … and what to do about it. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Isaksen, S. G., Dorval, K. B., and Treffinger, D. J. 2011. Creative approaches to problem solving: A framework for innovation and change. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

Michalko, M. 2006. Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques. Paperback – Illustrated, NYC: Ten Speed Press.

Mycoted. n.d. Creativity Techniques A to Z. Mycoted.

Proctor, T. 2006. Creative problem solving for managers. Routledge.

Ravenell, E. 2018. The Osborn-Parnes creative problem solving procedure. Munchen: GRIN Verlag.

Treffinger, D. J., Isaksen, S. G., and Stead-Dorval, K. B. 2005. Creative problem solving: An introduction. Waco, Tex: Prufrock Press.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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