San Fernando, Trinidad (PressExposure) March 09, 2011 -- Now more than ever, employers are demanding employees who possess creative problem solving skills. Job seekers who can demonstrate this vital leadership trait are more likely to be hired, according to recent research. 21st century skills such as leadership, critical thinking and creative problem solving may be in higher demand than a 4.0 GPA, because business growth and survival in this new economy depend on innovation and implementation of new ideas and processes. Sadly, the typical school curriculum does not focus on teaching these skills. However, a soon-to-be-released book entitled Off to China With a Canoe and a Shovel, aims to help school leavers develop the creative problem solving skills that employers are looking for. The book is authored by Hazel-Ann La Fortune, educator, writer and life coach.
According to La Fortune, "Employers want workers who can find solutions to problems and who can think creatively. It is a travesty that the school curriculum does not put more emphasis on preparing students for the real world of work. It's even sadder that students are leaving school thinking that all they need to land their dream job is a good academic record. We must let them know that employers expect them to have leadership skills such as creative problem solving, and teach them how to develop these skills. My book will help them do just that."
The book uses simple stories to illustrate important creative problem solving concepts. One such concept is 'Challenge Your Assumptions'. "Sometimes our beliefs or unchallenged ideas about an issue may actually prevent us from finding a solution," La Fortune says. "Let me use an analogy to illustrate my point: we may automatically assume that a shovel can only be used for digging. As such we would not even consider using the shovel for anything but digging a hole. In reality, however, a shovel has numerous uses, which we would never discover until we let go of our restricting idea of what a shovel does."
Other principles of creative problem solving discussed in the book include:
How to ask the right questions to get the right answer; and
Use what you have.
"Off to China With a Canoe and a Shovel is a book for these times. If you're just out of school, this is the right tool to help you spruce up your resume with the critical skills employers are looking for," says La Fortune.