If your childhood was anything like mine, it must have been filled with magical stories of the alternative world of wizards and witches, casting spells, fighting evil, and building beautiful relationships based on love and friendship. And, of course, creative problem-solving.

“But what does creative problem-solving have to do with the world of wizards and witches?” you may ask. Sure, it’s the new buzzword in the fields of corporate leadership training and consultancy. But isn’t it a far cry from Hogwarts and its students, right? Actually, not quite. Creative problem-solving was one of the strongest suits of Hermione Granger, the brainy heroine of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

Hermione is one of the most creative problem-solvers in the Hogwarts universe. Or perhaps in the entire literary world. But what is creative problem-solving? Creative problem solving (CPS), a key Harappa skill,  is a way of solving problems or identifying opportunities when conventional thinking has failed. It encourages you to find novel perspectives and come up with innovative solutions to reach your goals.

And this is exactly what Hermione does time and again. Be it with the riddles and spells that protect the Philosopher’s Stone, the truth behind the Chamber of Secrets, or Professor Lupin’s secret, Hermione uses her ability to think out of the box and get to the bottom of all the challenges that come Harry’s way.

Here’s a list of some instances when Hermione used creative problem-solving to get out of a sticky situation:

– When Hermione led Ron to believe that she had slipped some Felix Felicis potion into his breakfast pumpkin juice just before his Quidditch Keeper tryouts, he thought he would get the post just based on luck. Ron did get the position, but not because she had slipped in the potion, but because Hermione led him to believe that he would.

– Hermione was the first person to figure out how the Basilisk was getting around the Hogwarts castle: through the plumbing. She was able to think beyond the mysterious rumors that were doing the rounds, and actually use divergent thinking to trace and understand how the beast was managing to disappear without getting caught.

– Hermione used her knowledge of potions to find out more information from Malfoy and his sidekicks if they were innocent or not. Sure, it backfired on her, and turned her into a cat for two weeks, but helped Harry and Ron move closer to solving the mystery of who was behind the attacks on the Muggle-borns.

These are highly relevant and useful skills to have in the world of magic, as well as at your place of work. So how can you too prepare yourself to be more like Hermione?

1. Be a reader: There is almost nothing that Hermione left unread in the Hogwarts library, that gave her any knowledge about the problem at hand. You too can do your own research about the problem you need to solve.

You will find all the relevant tips and tricks for being a reader in Harappa’s Reading Deeply course.

2. Be a critical thinker: Build solid arguments based on your reading and knowledge and ensure that you don’t let your biases and fallacies come into play. No matter what Hermione’s personal opinions, she never let them creep into her helping Harry and Ron, even when they were not on good terms.

For more on how to develop critical thinking as a skill, check out Harappa’s Thinking Critically course.

3. Be a lifelong learner: Hermione believed in learning for learning’s sake, and this is what helped her be the most successful student in her class for all the six years she spent at Hogwarts. Yes, she was competitive, but she also had great regard for all that her lessons taught her. Remember how she attended every single class offered in the third year with the help of her Time Turner? Sure, it was hectic for her but her thirst for learning could not be satiated any other way. In fact, she was also able to transfer her learning from the classroom to the real world, in the most crucial times. For example, when she figures out how to escape the murderous plant Devil’s Snare and saves Harry’s life.

There are various other perks to being a lifelong learner, and you can learn all about them in Harappa’s Learning Expertly course.

As you can see, you don’t need to be born with creative problem-solving skills. You can learn them yourself, and Harappa’s Unleashing Creativity course will help you do just that.

Enroll now for the Reasoning Logically course at Harappa Education. Click here to visit Harappa's Online Courses

Suha Gangopadhyay is a Specialist in the Curriculum team at Harappa Education. A postgraduate from University of Oxford, she wants to contribute to the growth of education studies in India, and dwells in a world where books are almighty.

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