We often approach challenges without considering what mode of thinking we’re utilizing to solve them. As a result, we tend to limit the range of possible solutions we’re able to generate. To help us take off the blinders and be more aware of our creative problem solving mindset, Chris Griffiths presents a framework called GRASP in his new book, GRASP the Solution.

GRASP standas for five types of thinking:

  • Generative: Generating thoughts and ideas.
  • Reactive: Reacting to existing influences and ideas.
  • Analytical: Analyzing ideas to reach a solution.
  • Selective: Validating and implementing a potential solution.
  • Proactive: Taking a strategic approach to select the best mode of thinking for a given situation. It encompasses all of the above modes.

Griffiths explains how this framework can help you to “think about your thinking” and come up with better solutions:

“The mode of thinking you’re in always dictates the way you approach a particular task. When making a decision, you may well draw on all of the modes at one time or another to help you find the answer. The problem is that without an underlying awareness of the nature and contribution of each mode of thinking, you’re far less likely to apply them in the most constructive and congruent way.

“GRASP presents a simple way to become conscious of the independent characteristics of each mode of thinking so you can better understand the mental route you take to reach a solution.”

Griffiths’ approach to creative problem solving makes a lot of sense. While much has been written about specific creativity exercises or techniques, few authors have stepped back to look at the mental models we’re using to approach our challenges in the first place.

The GRASP framework provides a practical and effective way to define challenges and opportunities accurately, generate a variety of unique ideas using appropriate creative tools and strategies, evaluate ideas and identify the most promising solution and strengthen the best solution and plan for successful implementation of it.

GRASP the Solution is a refreshing read. You’ll come away energized with new ways to approach your challenges and opportunities, and a deeper sense for how you think. I highly recommend this book!