This article illustrates how entrepreneurs need creativity in solving complex problems.
Appropriate Subject Area(s):
Marketing, entrepreneurship, target market
Key Questions to Explore:
- How do entrepreneurs devise creative solutions to complex problems?
Using the same matrix used earlier in the semester will help students analyze the article and provide them with reinforcement of a tool they can use to analyze other situations/opportunities/articles they come across.
- Ask the class if they have eaten poutine. Have them rate it on a scale of 1-10.
- Explore with the class some creative problem-solving methods.
- Distribute the article for reading.
- In pairs, have students brainstorm the challenges and opportunities faced by Ashton Leblond and his chain of restaurants.
- Invite students to categorize the challenges and opportunities using the following categories: Simple and easy, complicated, complex, chaotic. You can define these categories as follows:
- Simple and easy: challenge can be easily resolved or an opportunity can be easy to take advantage of
- Complicated: an expert may be required to resolve the challenge or shape the opportunity with a high degree of predictability
- Complex: the challenge or opportunity presents several ways to move forward, but it is unpredictable what the outcome will be
- Chaotic: there is no path because things are changing too rapidly
- Combine groups and have students discuss the impact of the province wide labour shortage that Ashton Leblond faces in ensuring his restaurants stay open and customer service is not impacted.
- Two big trends for 2020-21 are connections and well-being. How are these addressed through Lablond’s solution?
- Students understand how creative problem-solving leads to innovative solutions.
In small groups, students should brainstorm:
- What other solutions might work for Leblond’s restaurants?
- Have them rank each solution and write a brief paragraph justifying the top solution.
Students and their families face many challenges, from simply making a meal by following a recipe to more complex challenges such as ensuring family members are healthy. During a family dinner, brainstorm what challenges each of the family face as individuals and as a member of a family. Talk about each of them in terms of the predictability of outcome and then decide together if the challenge is simple, complicated, complex or chaotic. You may find this is a conversation you can continue on an ongoing basis. Each time a challenge is encountered, use this approach to come up with a solution. It will promote critical thinking among the whole family.