Design Thinking - A Creative Approach to Problem Solving

Marketing Institute of Singapore (MIS)

Course introduction

Value creation has always been part and parcel of any businesses. Businesses need to engage every part of the production chain to help create new strategies, enter new markets, create new brands, create new applications for technology, find new ways of connecting with customers and/or to help find new partners. What is different today is the speed in which all such activities need to be executed. Equipping individuals within an organisation with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate effectively and efficiently in the value creation process is essential to maintaining competitiveness in the market place.

Target Audience

Any organisation who wishes to harness the power of design thinking and creative problem-solving to create value for the organisation, improve productivity, improve teamwork, create an open and gracious creative culture within the organisation by promoting thinking and innovative vibrancy.

Any individual who wishes to adopt a winning creative and open attitude, be able to lead and facilitate teams in the entire problem-solving process, look at issues instantly from multiple angles, turn criticisms into constructive feedback, always add value to discussions, constantly absorb new ideas and thoughts, influence others and build teams.

Course Outline


  • Fundamentals and framework of design thinking processes
  • Understand the characteristics of the creative process
  • Using principles of design thinking and techniques of The Beanstalk Creative ActionsTM for effective problem-solving
  • Harnessing and managing group creativity and thinking processes to enhance team performance
The Beanstalk Creative ActionsTM 10 Steps Approach
  • Developing the right mindset, having the appropriate attitude, understanding and following the "rules of the game"
  • Scoping and defining the problem
  • Planning the problem-solving process and identifying appropriate tools for use at appropriate stages
  • Covering the "standard" solutions / going "wild" with ideas
  • Abstracting practical solutions from impossible ideas
  • Examine internal and external environment, identify changes and removing "sacred cows" from existing solutions that no longer work in the current environment
  • Examine the customers/stakeholder needs and understanding objections or obstacles and develop arguments or solutions to overcome them
  • Cost cutting and/or value-engineering – a critical step in any problem-solving
  • Automation
  • Compiling a winning solution

Available Course Sessions

Please click here to stay updated on upcoming sessions.

Trainer Profile

Christopher Long

Christopher Long is a Ngee Ann Polytechnic adjunct lecturer, published writer and designer. He was external examiner to various polytechnic programmes, NUS senior adjunct lecturer, past VP of SILA and is member of the Advisory Committee ABE, Singapore Polytechnic. He was also a Public Service Commission, National Parks Board (Singapore) and Carl Duisbery Gesellschaft (Germany) scholar.

During his time in Germany, he acquired the "Synaplan" card-assisted facilitation skills from Dr Nereu Feix. Chris has throughout his career adopted the use of "Synaplan" in design teamwork, at multiorganisational workshops as well as during his landscape design teaching at Ngee An Polytechnic and NUS.

Chris is also a SILA registered landscape architect who not only created several prominent landmark projects such as the Istana Front Lawn, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Tanglin/Heritage Core etc. but went on to become the head of the National Parks Board design team leading them to achieve many important masterplans for Singapore including the Gardens by The Bay Preliminary Masterplan, the Southern Ridges Masterplan, the HortPark Masterplan and The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve Redevelopment Masterplan. He later moved on to the Research Branch of the National Parks Board where he proceeded to develop learning videos, a site integrated social networking application for park users, a patent-pending lifestyle garden product, as well as several training courses.

The Beanstalk Creative ActionsTM process and methodology draws from his open facilitation skills built on the foundation of "Synaplan" as well as his design thinking ability cultivated through over 18 years of facilitating, designing and creating.