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Creative problem solving: The GROW model for problem solving in India

creative problem solvingCreated in the U.K. and frequently used in the ’80s and ’90s by corporate coaches, GROW is a simple, straightforward four-step model to problem-solving that is now growing in popularity in India.  In addition to corporate coaching, the GROW model has been found useful in any goal-directed business. GROW is an acronym for the four steps, which lead you in a linear fashion from clarifying the problem to the resolution of it. Think of this as a journey you’re embarking upon.

G – Goal

Using the metaphor of a map, think of this first step as you identifying your final destination. It can be helpful, when trying to pinpoint your destination, to ask some clarifying questions. These might include the following: how will you know when you’ve ‘arrived’? What will
be some of the landmarks or markers that will let you know you’re ‘there’? In other words, how will you identify that the issue or problem has been successfully addressed and solved?

R – Your Current Reality

Now that your destination is clear, this next step takes a measure of where you are now – your current place on the map – with all the resources and tools that you’re going to be packing to take along with you. At this stage of planning your trip to your destination, this is a really important and often under-utilized step in the process. You’ll have a ton of information available to you when you really begin to spend some time assessing where you are right now. Think about clarifying, for example, what’s happening in your current reality – the what, when, who, and how often. How do these factors impact your current reality? Are there other goals you have which may either support or conflict with your new destination?
This is also a fantastic opportunity, when looking at your reality now, to identify steps you may already have taken, no matter how small, towards your desired destination.

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O – Options and Obstacles

This third step looks at identifying and clarifying, via brainstorming, your possible routes, along with potential roadblocks on each route to your achieving your goal, arriving at your destination. Using the map metaphor, this step looks at the countryside, the ‘lay of the land,’ between you and your destination. You’re looking for potential routes and the options and obstacles you might find along each one.
So, this step invites you to first brainstorm, without censoring, the various possibilities or routes. There’ll be time later to look at which route makes the most sense. For now, just focus on as many options as possible, even if some don’t make logical sense; you want to use as much creativity as possible to really get your imagination firing on all cylinders. After you’ve spent some time on juicy brainstorming, now you can look at the pros and cons of each potential route.

W – Way Forward or Will

This final step looks at nailing down your plan by looking at the steps you need to now take, given what you’ve discovered in the first three steps, to grow from where you are now, to reach your intended destination. You need to determine which route to take and what your itinerary, step-by-step, will look like. This final step in the process identifies which steps come first on your journey plus how
you’ll keep yourself nourished and motivated along the way. Finally, it’s good to build into this step, times when you’ll review your progress, to ensure you’re still on track to getting to your desired destination. It’s helpful to decide ahead how frequently you should review your map, determine your progress, and fine-tune your route.

The GROW model is simple, but when each step is applied conscientiously, it can profoundly help with identifying and thoughtfully planning your journey to your destination.

Learn how to solve your problems at the point of need with our eBook The Art of Problem Solving here: 

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Think you’ve got what it takes to be a creative problem-solver? Check out #ThoughtfulThursday, our weekly newsletter to get your mind working.