Creative Problem Solving Program

At the core of the Creative Education Foundation’s Creative Problem Solving Institute is its flagship Creative Problem Solving Program, which begins with CPS Level 1: Foundations of Creative Problem Solving. This is the course we highly recommend for all first-time CPSI participants.


Alex Osborn, the founder of the Creative Problem Solving Institute, invented brainstorming, which evolved into a more complete process of Creative Problem Solving. The Creative Education Foundation has been teaching and honing this process, and related programs, ever since!

Creative Problem Solving Program | Creative Problem Solving InstituteThe Creative Problem Solving (CPS) Program is a multi-year experience designed to help you develop critical skills and capabilities for driving creativity, innovation and change. Each course deepens these skills so that you move from being led through the CPS process to adding tools and techniques to enhance the process to facilitating the process and, ultimately, to teaching others how to facilitate the process.

When you complete the full CPS Program, you have a dynamic set of skills, tools and processes for leading for creativity, as well as fostering creative thinking and problem solving in individuals, in teams and across your organization.

Apply what you learn in the CPS Program to identify better problems to solve, generate more and different ideas, produce better solutions, and act more confidently to implement those solutions.

Creative Problem Solving Program: The Courses

Creative Problem Solving Program | Creative Problem Solving InstituteThe Creative Problem Solving Program is comprised of the following courses, which are further described below. There is also a more in-depth page about the Foundations of Creative Problem Solving course.

Completing the CPS Program not only enhances your personal and professional creativity skills, it prepares you to become a program leader at the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI)! You’ll learn more about this opportunity during your course at CPSI.

CPS Level 2: Creative Problem Solving Tools 

This is a natural stepping stone if you have previously taken Foundations of Creative problem Solving (formerly Springboard). This fast-paced course allows beginner to intermediate facilitators to go deeper into the CPS process, adding more facilitation tools to your repertoire. You will gain a clear understanding of which tools to use at each stage of the CPS process, as well as how to modify them to fit your session objectives or add a bit of creative flair. You will also learn a variety of energizers and fun grouping games to keep your sessions engaging and interactive. Learn through small- and large-group work, including round-robin sharing and show-and-tell exercises. In this course, you will:

  • Explore a variety of divergent and convergent tools for individual and group problem solving.
  • Learn how and where to apply different tools within the CPS process.
  • Practice facilitating tools.
  • Discover how to use tools when you or your team are unable to progress or working in areas of low preference. 

CPS Level 3: Creative Problem Solving Facilitation Techniques

Facilitation skills are central to the effective use of CPS, whether in formal meetings or informal brainstorming sessions. This course is designed for those who already know the CPS process in theory and are ready to put it into action as a facilitator. This course uses peer-group practices to prepare participants for working with actual clients. Characteristics of successful facilitation will be identified and practiced, and you will develop an awareness of your own strengths and areas for development. In this course, you will:

  • Review and start to internalize the CPS process through the lens of the facilitator.
  • Experience CPS from several points of view – as a facilitator, as the problem-owner, and as part of the resource group.
  • Understand how to facilitate each step of the CPS process.
  • Receive general facilitation tips that enhance any meeting.
  • Receive individual and group feedback on facilitation skills.
  • Explore and develop your facilitation style.

CPS Level 4: Creative Problem Solving Instructor Training 

This program is designed to provide the modules, framework and practice to help you train individuals and groups in the Creative Problem Solving Process as taught in the Foundations of Creative Problem Solving course. In this highly interactive course, you will have the opportunity to train others in these modules and receive feedback and coaching from your peers and experienced facilitators. Come prepared to work hard and have fun. Please note: Pre-work and on-site preparation will be required in order to “teach back” the course. In this course, you will:

  • Explain each step of the CPS process.
  • Explain the supporting principles of the CPS process.
  • Apply adult learning and thinking styles for effective instruction.
  • Demonstrate the skills needed to teach the CPS process, principles and tools, including effective presentation.
  • Deliver the core CPSI Foundations of Creative Problem Solving course, which introduces participants to a layered approach to learning CPS.

Ready to build YOUR creativity skills?