News

The CIA’s secrets to creative problem solving

The media industry has its fair share of problems: sustainable revenue, lack of diversity, falling audience trust, and the list goes on.

When confronting a problem, have you ever found yourself picking the easy route time and again? Perhaps keep trying the same strategies in the hope they will eventually work? The truth is, it can be very difficult to come up with creative – and potentially more effective – ways to tackle the problems.

In this week’s podcast, we bring you another fascinating talk from our digital journalism conference Newsrewired. This time, we look outside the media industry for inspiration on creative problem-solving. 

Jacob Eastham and Nyssa Straatveit are creative thinking instructors at the CIA – yes, the US Central Intelligence Agency. Their job is to untangle complex issues facing the country and relay that knowledge to policymakers. 

As you can imagine, these issues are not straightforward. Often, new perspectives are needed to find the best solution. So the CIA has developed four techniques to help the agents unlock their solution-generating power. They are known as the wombat, the wolf, the wood duck and the otter. Use them in your newsroom to question long-standing assumptions, find fresh perspectives and develop new ideas.

You might be interested in …