Put on Your Out-of-the-Box Thinking Cap

Who says problem-solving must be a mind-numbingly boring process?

2020 has been full of puzzles to solve, especially for people who work in school districts. Some of them have been figured out on the fly, but others required more complex brainstorming with a group—and there are troublesome new problems cropping up every day. Even if you’ve been successful—after all, so many school nutrition departments have implemented truly innovative practices in response to the unique challenges of the pandemic—your team might be getting burned out on brainstorming.

When that happens, you may observe increased impatience, eye-rolls, participation only by the extroverts and a tendency for conversation to shift either to fruitless venting about the problem or negativity about every suggested idea. Does this mean that you should just problem-solve on your own without the participation of others? It may feel tempting, but you will miss out on the benefits that are a natural outcome of working with others to dream up daring new ideas...

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