Creative Thinking and Problem-solving Grade 11 Business Studies

Creative Thinking and Problem-solving Grade 11 Business Studies

Creative Thinking and Problem-solving Grade 11 Business Studies: Notes, with Activities Questions and Answers.

Welcome to Term 2 of Grade 11 Business Studies, where we will explore the fascinating world of creative thinking and problem-solving. In today’s dynamic business environment, these skills are more crucial than ever. Businesses must constantly adapt to technological advancements and competitive pressures, making it essential for both managers and employees to be innovative and flexible.

Creative thinking is the process of generating new ideas and approaches. It involves looking at problems and opportunities from fresh perspectives and developing novel solutions that can drive business success. In the workplace, creative thinking is indispensable. Managers need it to make informed decisions and address challenges effectively, while employees use it to contribute to the overall growth and improvement of the business.

Here’s how creative thinking can transform business practices:

  • Develop New Products and Marketing Strategies: By thinking creatively, businesses can innovate and introduce new products that meet customer needs and stand out in the market. For example, a company might develop a unique marketing campaign that captures the public’s attention and boosts sales.
  • Improve Quality and Customer Satisfaction: Creative thinking helps in enhancing the quality of goods and services. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty. Imagine a restaurant that continually updates its menu based on customer feedback and new culinary trends.
  • Challenge Assumptions and Change Perceptions: Often, businesses operate on long-held assumptions. Creative thinking challenges these assumptions and encourages new ways of thinking. This can lead to breakthrough innovations. For instance, a business might rethink its distribution model to cut costs and increase efficiency.
  • Generate Alternative Solutions: When faced with a problem, creative thinkers don’t settle for the first solution that comes to mind. They explore multiple possibilities to find the most effective answer. This approach can be especially useful in crisis management, where quick and innovative solutions are needed.
  • Solve Conflict and Encourage Teamwork: Creative problem-solving is also key to resolving conflicts in the workplace. By fostering an environment where different perspectives are valued, businesses can build stronger, more cohesive teams. For example, a team might use brainstorming sessions to address internal conflicts and find mutually beneficial solutions.

As we dive into this topic, remember that creative thinking isn’t just about having wild ideas—it’s about applying those ideas in practical ways to improve business performance. By honing your creative thinking and problem-solving skills, you will be better equipped to navigate the complexities of the modern business world and contribute to your future workplace’s success.

Problem-Solving Skills in a Business Context

The Advantages of Using Creative Thinking

Creative thinking in business is crucial for several reasons, and it offers numerous advantages that can significantly enhance a company’s performance.

  • Shorter and More Productive Meetings: By encouraging creative thinking, meetings become more focused and efficient. Instead of lengthy discussions with little progress, creative thinking allows teams to quickly brainstorm and agree on actionable steps. For example, a South African tech startup might use design thinking workshops to streamline meeting times and boost productivity.
  • Better and Quicker Problem Solving and Decision Making: Creative thinkers can quickly identify solutions to problems, making the decision-making process faster and more effective. Consider a retail business in Johannesburg that uses creative problem-solving techniques to resolve supply chain issues swiftly, ensuring their stores are always stocked.
  • More Effective and Efficient Planning and Management: Creative thinking enables better strategic planning and management. Managers can foresee potential challenges and devise innovative strategies to address them. For instance, a tourism company in Cape Town might use creative thinking to develop unique travel packages that attract international tourists.
  • Creation of More Innovative Ideas That Lead to Better Performance: Encouraging creativity results in the generation of innovative ideas that can improve products, services, and overall business performance. A South African fashion brand might tap into local cultural influences to create unique designs that set them apart in the market.


Bench-marking is essential for identifying problems within an organization. It involves comparing performance or productivity against set norms and standards. If the benchmark is not reached, it indicates there might be an issue that needs addressing.

For example, a manufacturing company in Durban might benchmark its production efficiency against industry standards. If they find their output is lower than the benchmark, it could signal machinery inefficiency or a need for better staff training.

Problem-Solving Steps

Effective problem-solving involves a systematic approach. Here are the key steps:

  • Identify the Problem and List Possible Reasons: Recognize the issue and explore its potential causes. For instance, if a South African mining company faces declining productivity, they might list reasons such as equipment failure or labor disputes.
  • Collect Data and Information: Gather all relevant data to understand the problem better. The mining company might collect data on equipment maintenance records and employee feedback.
  • Analyze All the Facts and Information: Evaluate the data to gain a clear understanding of the problem. The company might find that outdated equipment is a significant factor.
  • Find as Many Solutions as Possible: Brainstorm multiple solutions to address the issue. Possible solutions might include upgrading equipment, enhancing training, or improving working conditions.
  • Evaluate and Select Alternative Solutions: Assess the feasibility of each solution and select the best one. The mining company might decide that upgrading equipment and training staff is the most effective solution.
  • Develop and Implement an Action Plan: Create a detailed plan to implement the chosen solution. This could involve scheduling equipment upgrades and organizing training sessions.
  • Monitor and Follow-Up: Check the results to ensure the problem is solved. The mining company should monitor productivity levels post-implementation to ensure improvements.

Routine Versus Creative Thinking

  • Routine Thinking: This involves sticking to the same methods and expecting different results, which often leads to stagnation. A South African retail store might keep using the same marketing strategy despite declining sales, hoping for improvement.
  • Creative Thinking: This involves using lateral thinking to solve problems through reasoning and finding new solutions. Instead, if the retail store employs creative thinking, they might develop a fresh marketing campaign that leverages social media trends to attract new customers.

By integrating creative thinking into problem-solving processes, businesses in South Africa can navigate challenges more effectively, innovate continuously, and maintain a competitive edge in their industries.

Mental Blocks to Creativity and Idea Generation

Mental Blocks to Creativity and Idea Generation

Mental blocks to creativity and idea generation are barriers that hinder the recognition of a problem or the discovery of a solution. Understanding and overcoming these blocks can significantly enhance creative thinking and problem-solving in a business context.

Internal Blocks

Internal blocks are barriers ruled by emotions, fear, judgments, and reflections. These internal obstacles can prevent individuals from thinking creatively because they may be afraid of making mistakes or being judged by others.

For example, an employee at a South African marketing firm might hesitate to suggest a bold new campaign idea out of fear of criticism from colleagues.

Perceptual Blocks

Perceptual blocks are obstacles that prevent you from seeing the problem clearly or finding a possible solution. These blocks occur when individuals are unable to view a situation from different perspectives, limiting their ability to identify creative solutions.

For instance, a manager at a manufacturing company might only see production delays as a result of worker inefficiency, rather than considering potential equipment malfunctions or supply chain issues.

Intellectual Blocks

Intellectual blocks lead to poor strategies or plans to solve the problem. These blocks occur when individuals lack the necessary knowledge or skills to devise effective solutions.

For example, a small business owner in Pretoria might struggle to develop a successful digital marketing strategy due to a lack of expertise in online marketing.

Expressive blocks mean that the ability to communicate ideas is difficult. When individuals cannot clearly articulate their thoughts, it becomes challenging to convey innovative ideas to others.

For instance, an engineer with a brilliant new design idea might struggle to explain it effectively to the product development team, hindering the implementation of the idea.

Environmental Blocks

Environmental blocks include the social and physical environment in which we live and work. The social environment should be characterized by honesty, trust, and support to foster creativity.

For example, a workplace with a toxic culture of blame and mistrust will stifle creativity, whereas a supportive environment will encourage employees to share and develop new ideas.

Cultural blocks imply that people do not want to go against their traditional beliefs. These blocks occur when cultural norms and values discourage individuals from thinking outside the box.

For instance, a South African business operating in a community with strong traditional values might resist adopting modern, innovative practices that could improve efficiency.

More Complex Problem-Solving Techniques

To overcome these mental blocks, businesses can use various problem-solving techniques:

  • Brainstorming: This technique involves a group discussing and solving the problem together. By encouraging the free flow of ideas without immediate criticism, brainstorming helps to generate a wide range of potential solutions.For example, a team at a Cape Town advertising agency might use brainstorming sessions to develop creative concepts for a new client campaign.
  • Force Field Analysis: This technique involves discussing and evaluating the pros and cons of change. By analyzing the forces for and against a particular change, businesses can better understand the potential impacts and make informed decisions.For instance, a Johannesburg-based manufacturing company might use force field analysis to decide whether to implement a new production technology.
  • The Delphi Technique: This method involves obtaining ideas and opinions using written or Internet communication, similar to brainstorming but not face-to-face. The Delphi technique is particularly useful for gathering input from a dispersed group of experts.For example, a South African tech firm might use the Delphi technique to gather insights from international experts on emerging industry trends.

By recognizing and addressing mental blocks to creativity and employing these problem-solving techniques, businesses can foster a more innovative and effective workplace, leading to improved performance and competitive advantage.

Creative Thinking and Problem-Solving Techniques

Creative thinking and problem-solving techniques are essential tools for businesses to address challenges and foster innovation. In this section, we will delve into three powerful techniques: Brainstorming, Force-field Analysis, and the Delphi Technique.


Brainstorming is a method of generating ideas through a group process. It encourages open-mindedness and the free flow of ideas without immediate criticism. Here are the steps involved in a successful brainstorming session:

Step 1: Outline the Brainstorming Process to the Group

Step 2: Outline the Basic Rules to Be Followed

  • Keep an Open Mind: Don’t criticize anyone’s ideas.
  • Let Yourself Go: Don’t discuss an idea yet.
  • Generate as Many Ideas as Possible: Quantity over quality at this stage.
  • Build on the Ideas of Others: Encourage collaboration and synergy.
  • Write Down All Ideas: Document every idea as it arises.

Step 3: Present the Problem to the Group

Step 4: Appoint a Recorder

  • This person will write down all the ideas generated.

Step 5: State the Problem in Clear Terms and Begin

Step 6: Synthesize Similar Ideas

  • Combine ideas that are alike to avoid duplication.

Step 7: Group the Listed Ideas into Three Categories

  • Impossible
  • Unlikely
  • Possible

Step 8: Prioritize the Best Ideas

  • Focus on the most feasible and innovative solutions.

Example: A Cape Town marketing firm might use brainstorming to develop new campaign ideas. By following these steps, the team can generate a wide range of creative concepts that they can later refine and implement.

Force-field Analysis

Force-field analysis is useful when proposing changes in the production of goods or services. This method considers both positive and negative forces, allowing businesses to strengthen supporting factors and mitigate opposing ones.

Step 1: List and Discuss the Driving Forces

  • These are the forces in favor of the proposed change.

Step 2: List and Discuss the Restraining Forces

  • These are the forces against the proposed change.

Step 3: Weigh the Pros and Cons

  • Compare the driving forces with the restraining forces to determine the feasibility of the change.

Example: A Johannesburg manufacturing company might use force-field analysis to decide whether to adopt a new production technology. They would list the benefits, such as increased efficiency, against the drawbacks, such as the cost of new equipment, to make an informed decision.

The Delphi Technique

The Delphi technique is a method for harnessing the collective expertise of participants who may be located in different places. It involves anonymous input and a series of questionnaires to reach a consensus.

Step 1: Identify the Problem

Step 2: Ask Group Members to Write Possible Solutions

  • Use a questionnaire to gather responses.

Step 3: Combine the Results

  • Distribute the compiled responses to all group members.

Step 4: Experts Submit New Ideas

  • Encourage participants to build on the initial responses.

Step 5: Combine and Redistribute New Information

  • Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until a consensus is reached.

Advantages of the Delphi Technique:

  • Minimizes Arguments and Disputes: Reduces conflict.
  • Encourages Input from All: Even from those who prefer not to interact.
  • Minimizes Influence of Rank or Status: Promotes equality in idea generation.
  • Promotes Free Expression: Without fear of judgment.
  • No Physical Presence Required: Ideal for remote collaboration.

Disadvantages of the Delphi Technique:

  • Time-Consuming: The iterative process can be lengthy.
  • Potential Acceptance of Bad Ideas: Due to lack of group discussion.
  • Limited Elaboration: Participants may not have the chance to expand on others’ ideas.

Example: A South African tech company might use the Delphi technique to gather insights from international experts on emerging trends. By leveraging this method, they can ensure diverse and unbiased input, leading to well-rounded strategic decisions.

By understanding and implementing these techniques, businesses can effectively address challenges, foster innovation, and enhance overall performance.

Working with Others to Solve Problems and Generate Ideas

Synergy is a powerful phenomenon that occurs when individuals collaborate to achieve results that they could not accomplish separately. This collaborative effort often leads to innovative solutions and enhanced problem-solving capabilities.

Creative Thinking Skills and Conventional Versus Nonconventional Solutions

Creative thinking skills are essential for addressing business problems and generating innovative ideas. Problems can be approached in two primary ways:

  • Conventional Solutions: These are the typical methods used to solve problems. They rely on established practices and procedures. For example, a retail store facing declining sales might use conventional solutions like increasing advertising or offering discounts.
  • Nonconventional Solutions: These require unique and innovative approaches, leveraging creative thinking skills. For example, the same retail store might use a nonconventional solution like hosting community events to attract more customers or developing a unique loyalty program.

Indigenous Approach and Solutions

Problems can also be solved by using traditional or indigenous knowledge, which is unique to the people born in a specific country or culture. These solutions often differ from mainstream methods used in western society.

For example, a South African agricultural business might use indigenous knowledge of crop rotation and natural pest control methods passed down through generations to improve yield and sustainability.

Creative Solutions to Business Problems

All businesses face uncertainty in the micro (business) environment and especially in the market and macro (external) environment. One effective way to navigate these uncertainties is by using PESTLE analysis to find creative solutions to problems in the macro environment. PESTLE stands for:

  • P – Political Factors: These include what is happening politically, such as tax policies and changes in government. For example, a South African company might need to adjust its operations due to new tax regulations introduced by the government.
  • E – Economic Factors: These involve economic conditions like growth or decline, unemployment, and inflation. A business might develop strategies to cope with high inflation rates by finding cost-effective suppliers.
  • S – Social Factors: These encompass societal changes, including cultural shifts, health trends, and population growth. For instance, a business might introduce new products to cater to the growing health-conscious population.
  • T – Technological Factors: These refer to how technology impacts businesses and the emergence of new technologies. A company might invest in e-commerce platforms to leverage the increasing use of online shopping.
  • L – Legal Factors: These include laws related to importing and exporting, labor regulations, and compliance requirements. A business might need to adjust its hiring practices to comply with new labor laws.
  • E – Environmental Factors: These involve issues like global warming and pollution. A company might adopt sustainable practices to reduce its environmental footprint and appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.

By analyzing these factors, businesses can develop creative solutions to address various challenges. For instance, a South African mining company might use PESTLE analysis to navigate the impacts of changing environmental regulations and technological advancements in mining equipment.

Example of Creative Problem-Solving Using PESTLE Analysis

Scenario: A South African textile manufacturer is facing declining demand due to competition from cheaper imports and increasing production costs.

  • Political: The company could lobby for favorable trade policies or subsidies to support local manufacturers.
  • Economic: It might diversify its product line to include premium, high-margin items that are less sensitive to economic downturns.
  • Social: The business could tap into the local culture by incorporating traditional South African designs and patterns into its products, appealing to both local and international markets.
  • Technological: Investing in advanced manufacturing technologies could help reduce production costs and improve efficiency.
  • Legal: Ensuring compliance with labor laws and exploring export opportunities under trade agreements can open new markets.
  • Environmental: Adopting sustainable practices and promoting eco-friendly products can attract environmentally conscious customers.

By utilizing creative thinking and the PESTLE framework, the textile manufacturer can develop a comprehensive strategy to address its challenges and enhance its competitiveness in the market.

In conclusion, embracing creative thinking and leveraging collaborative efforts are crucial for solving complex business problems and driving innovation. Whether through conventional, nonconventional, or indigenous approaches, businesses can navigate uncertainties and thrive in dynamic environments.

Questions and Answers Activity

1. What is synergy, and why is it important in solving business problems?

Answer: Synergy occurs when individuals work together to achieve results that they cannot achieve separately. It is important in solving business problems because it combines the diverse skills, knowledge, and perspectives of team members, leading to more innovative and effective solutions.

2. True or False: Conventional solutions involve using unique and creative approaches to solve problems.

Answer: False. Conventional solutions are the typical methods used to solve problems based on established practices and procedures.

3. Describe an example of a nonconventional solution to a business problem.

Answer: A nonconventional solution might involve a South African retail store hosting community events to attract more customers instead of simply increasing advertising. This unique approach can create a stronger community presence and customer loyalty.

4. Name three advantages of using creative thinking in business problem-solving.


  1. Shorter and more productive meetings: Creative thinking helps focus discussions and generate actionable ideas quickly.
  2. Better and quicker problem-solving and decision-making: It allows for innovative approaches and faster resolutions.
  3. More effective and efficient planning and management: Creative solutions enable more strategic and adaptive business practices.

5. How can benchmarking help identify problems within an organization?

Answer: Benchmarking involves comparing performance or productivity against set norms and standards. If the benchmark is not reached, it indicates that there might be a problem within the organization that needs to be addressed.

6. What are the steps involved in brainstorming?


  1. Outline the brainstorming process to the group.
  2. Outline the basic rules: Keep an open mind, don’t criticize, generate as many ideas as possible, build on others’ ideas, write down all ideas.
  3. Present the problem to the group.
  4. Appoint a recorder.
  5. State the problem in clear terms and begin.
  6. Synthesize similar ideas.
  7. Group the listed ideas into three categories: Impossible, Unlikely, Possible.
  8. Prioritize the best ideas.

7. True or False: Perceptual blocks prevent you from seeing the problem clearly or finding a possible solution.

Answer: True. Perceptual blocks are obstacles that prevent individuals from viewing a problem clearly or identifying potential solutions.

8. Explain the concept of force-field analysis and its steps.

Answer: Force-field analysis is a method used to evaluate the pros and cons of a proposed change by considering all positive (driving) and negative (restraining) forces.


  1. List and discuss the driving forces in favor of the change.
  2. List and discuss the restraining forces against the change.
  3. Weigh the pros and cons to determine the feasibility of the change.

9. How does the Delphi technique differ from traditional brainstorming?

Answer: The Delphi technique involves gathering input from participants via written or online communication, ensuring anonymity and avoiding face-to-face interaction. It uses a series of questionnaires to reach a consensus, whereas traditional brainstorming involves immediate, in-person discussions.

10. True or False: Environmental blocks refer to obstacles in the social and physical environment that hinder creativity.

Answer: True. Environmental blocks include barriers in the social and physical environment that can prevent creative thinking and problem-solving.

11. Describe a situation where indigenous knowledge might provide a creative solution to a business problem.

Answer: A South African agricultural business might use indigenous knowledge of crop rotation and natural pest control methods to improve yield and sustainability, rather than relying on chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

12. Name the PESTLE analysis factors and give a brief description of each.


  1. Political Factors: These include government policies, tax regulations, and political stability.
  2. Economic Factors: These encompass economic conditions such as growth, inflation, and unemployment.
  3. Social Factors: These involve cultural trends, health issues, and demographic changes.
  4. Technological Factors: These refer to advancements in technology and their impact on business operations.
  5. Legal Factors: These include laws and regulations affecting business practices, such as labor laws.
  6. Environmental Factors: These involve environmental issues like climate change and pollution.

13. How can creative thinking lead to more effective and efficient planning and management?

Answer: Creative thinking enables managers to foresee potential challenges and devise innovative strategies, resulting in more adaptive and strategic planning. This can lead to improved resource allocation, streamlined processes, and better overall management.

14. True or False: Intellectual blocks occur when individuals lack the knowledge or skills to develop effective solutions.

Answer: True. Intellectual blocks hinder problem-solving by limiting the strategies and plans available to address an issue.

15. Provide an example of how a South African company might use PESTLE analysis to address a business challenge.

Answer: A Johannesburg-based manufacturing company facing economic decline might use PESTLE analysis to explore economic factors such as unemployment and inflation. By understanding these factors, they could develop cost-saving measures or explore new markets to mitigate the impact.

16. What are some advantages of the Delphi technique?


  1. Minimizes arguments and disputes: Reduces conflict during idea generation.
  2. Encourages input from all: Even from those who prefer not to interact.
  3. Minimizes influence of rank or status: Promotes equality in idea contribution.
  4. Promotes free expression: Without fear of judgment.
  5. No physical presence required: Ideal for remote collaboration.

17. Explain the importance of synthesizing similar ideas during a brainstorming session.

Answer: Synthesizing similar ideas helps avoid duplication and allows the group to focus on unique and innovative solutions. It streamlines the brainstorming process and ensures that all relevant ideas are considered.

18. True or False: Cultural blocks can prevent individuals from adopting new and innovative solutions.

Answer: True. Cultural blocks occur when traditional beliefs discourage individuals from considering nonconventional approaches to problem-solving.

19. Describe the role of a recorder in a brainstorming session.

Answer: The recorder is responsible for documenting all the ideas generated during the brainstorming session. This ensures that no ideas are lost and that the group can review and prioritize them later.

20. How can benchmarking help a company improve its performance?

Answer: Benchmarking allows a company to measure its performance against industry standards or competitors. By identifying gaps and areas for improvement, the company can implement strategies to enhance efficiency, productivity, and overall performance.

21. True or False: Routine thinking involves using lateral thinking to solve problems.

Answer: False. Routine thinking involves doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results, while lateral thinking involves finding new and creative solutions.

22. How can environmental factors in PESTLE analysis impact a business?

Answer: Environmental factors such as climate change and pollution can affect a business’s operations, costs, and reputation. For example, a company might need to adopt sustainable practices to comply with environmental regulations and appeal to eco-conscious consumers.

23. Provide an example of how a South African business might use force-field analysis.

Answer: A South African mining company considering the adoption of new safety technology might use force-field analysis to list driving forces (improved safety, regulatory compliance) and restraining forces (high costs, training requirements). By weighing these factors, the company can make an informed decision.

24. What are some disadvantages of the Delphi technique?


  1. Time-consuming: The iterative process can be lengthy.
  2. Acceptance of bad ideas: Due to lack of group discussion.
  3. Limited elaboration: Participants may not have the chance to expand on others’ ideas.

25. Explain how social factors in PESTLE analysis can influence a business.

Answer: Social factors such as cultural trends, health concerns, and population growth can impact consumer behavior and demand for products. Businesses must adapt to these changes to remain relevant and meet customer needs.

26. True or False: Expressive blocks prevent individuals from clearly articulating their ideas.

Answer: True. Expressive blocks hinder the ability to communicate ideas effectively, which can limit creative problem-solving and collaboration.

27. Describe a situation where routine thinking might hinder a business’s success.

Answer: A South African retailer consistently using the same outdated marketing strategy despite declining sales is an example of routine thinking. This approach prevents the business from exploring innovative marketing tactics that could attract new customers and increase sales.

28. How can technological factors in PESTLE analysis provide opportunities for businesses?

Answer: Technological advancements can lead to new product development, improved processes, and enhanced customer experiences. For example, a South African bank adopting online banking technology can offer convenient services to customers and stay competitive in the market.

29. What steps should a business take when implementing a creative solution to a problem?


  1. Identify the problem.
  2. Collect and analyze data.
  3. Generate and evaluate potential solutions.
  4. Select the best solution.
  5. Develop and implement an action plan.
  6. Monitor and follow-up to ensure the problem is solved.

30. True or False: Internal blocks are barriers ruled by emotions, fear, judgments, and reflections.

Answer: True. Internal blocks are psychological barriers that can prevent individuals from thinking creatively and finding innovative solutions.

Case Study Questions: Creative Thinking and Problem-Solving in South Africa

Case Study 1: Woolworths’ Sustainable Sourcing

Background: Woolworths, a leading retail chain in South Africa, has been known for its commitment to sustainability. The company launched the Farming for the Future program to ensure sustainable sourcing of fresh produce. This initiative aimed to address environmental challenges, improve product quality, and ensure long-term supply.


  1. What creative solutions did Woolworths implement to address environmental challenges in its supply chain through the Farming for the Future program?Answer: Woolworths implemented several creative solutions, including:
    • Partnering with farmers to use environmentally friendly farming practices.
    • Reducing pesticide use and promoting soil health through crop rotation and organic fertilizers.
    • Implementing water conservation techniques to ensure sustainable water usage.
  2. How did the application of the PESTLE analysis help Woolworths identify and address the economic and environmental factors affecting their supply chain?Answer: Woolworths used PESTLE analysis to:
    • Assess economic factors such as fluctuating prices of produce and the cost of sustainable practices.
    • Evaluate environmental factors including climate change and resource scarcity, leading to the development of strategies to mitigate these issues.

Case Study 2: Nando’s Marketing Strategy

Background: Nando’s, a popular South African restaurant chain, is renowned for its creative and sometimes controversial marketing campaigns. In 2019, Nando’s launched a campaign that cleverly responded to the political climate and social issues, sparking widespread discussion and engagement.


  1. How did Nando’s use creative thinking to develop a marketing campaign that resonated with South Africans and addressed current political and social issues?Answer: Nando’s used creative thinking by:
    • Developing satirical advertisements that addressed political and social issues humorously.
    • Engaging with current events and using social media to amplify their message.
    • Creating a bold and unique brand voice that differentiated them from competitors.
  2. What were the potential risks and rewards of Nando’s nonconventional marketing approach, and how did they manage these risks?Answer: Potential risks included:
    • Public backlash if the campaigns were perceived as too controversial.
    • Legal issues related to the content of the advertisements. Rewards included:
    • Increased brand visibility and customer engagement.
    • Strengthened brand identity and loyalty. Nando’s managed these risks by:
    • Conducting thorough market research to gauge public sentiment.
    • Monitoring social media reactions and adjusting their approach accordingly.

Case Study 3: Eskom’s Load Shedding Challenges

Background: Eskom, South Africa’s primary electricity supplier, has faced significant challenges with load shedding due to aging infrastructure and mismanagement. The company has had to find creative solutions to address these persistent issues and ensure a stable power supply.


  1. What creative problem-solving techniques did Eskom employ to mitigate the impact of load shedding on South African businesses and households?Answer: Eskom employed techniques such as:
    • Implementing scheduled load shedding to provide predictability for businesses and households.
    • Investing in maintenance and upgrades of existing infrastructure.
    • Encouraging the use of alternative energy sources like solar power among consumers.
  2. Analyze how Eskom could use the Delphi technique to gather expert opinions on potential solutions for its infrastructure problems. What steps should they follow?Answer: Eskom could use the Delphi technique by:
    • Identifying the problem: Determining specific infrastructure issues that need addressing.
    • Asking experts to provide potential solutions through questionnaires.
    • Combining results and distributing them to all participants.
    • Gathering new ideas and refining solutions through repeated rounds until a consensus is reached.

Case Study 4: Discovery Health’s Innovative Insurance Products

Background: Discovery Health, a leading health insurance provider in South Africa, is known for its innovative approach to health insurance, particularly through its Vitality program which incentivizes healthy behavior among its members.


  1. How did Discovery Health utilize creative thinking to develop the Vitality program, and what impact has this had on their business and customer health outcomes?Answer: Discovery Health utilized creative thinking by:
    • Creating a program that rewards healthy behaviors such as regular exercise and healthy eating.
    • Partnering with gyms, retailers, and health service providers to offer discounts and incentives.
    • Using data analytics to track and promote healthy activities. Impact included:
    • Improved customer health outcomes.
    • Increased customer loyalty and retention.
    • Enhanced brand reputation as an innovator in the insurance industry.
  2. What are some potential challenges Discovery Health faced in implementing the Vitality program, and how did they overcome them?Answer: Challenges included:
    • Ensuring participation and engagement from members.
    • Integrating with multiple partners to provide rewards.
    • Maintaining accurate data for tracking activities. They overcame these challenges by:
    • Developing a user-friendly app to track activities and rewards.
    • Offering personalized incentives to motivate different members.
    • Establishing robust data management systems to ensure accuracy and privacy.

Case Study 5: MTN’s Expansion into African Markets

Background: MTN, a major telecommunications company based in South Africa, has successfully expanded into various African markets despite numerous challenges including regulatory hurdles and intense competition.


  1. What creative strategies did MTN employ to navigate regulatory challenges and successfully expand into new African markets?Answer: MTN used creative strategies such as:
    • Forming strategic partnerships with local businesses to better understand and comply with regulations.
    • Investing in local infrastructure to support their operations and gain goodwill.
    • Developing innovative service offerings tailored to the needs of each market, such as mobile banking.
  2. How could MTN use force-field analysis to decide whether to enter a new market, considering both driving and restraining forces?

Answer: MTN could use force-field analysis by:

  • Listing and discussing the driving forces: Market potential, customer demand, and competitive advantage.
  • Listing and discussing the restraining forces: Regulatory barriers, high costs, and market risks.
  • Weighing the pros and cons: Analyzing if the driving forces outweigh the restraining forces to make an informed decision.

Case Study 6: Shoprite’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Background: Shoprite, the largest supermarket retailer in Africa, faced significant operational challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company had to quickly adapt to ensure safety, maintain supply chains, and meet changing consumer demands.


  1. What innovative solutions did Shoprite implement to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring safety and continuity of operations?

Answer: Shoprite implemented solutions such as:

  • Introducing stringent health and safety protocols in stores, including sanitization and social distancing measures.
  • Enhancing their e-commerce platform to accommodate increased online shopping.
  • Collaborating with local suppliers to maintain stock levels and support local businesses.
  1. Using PESTLE analysis, identify and discuss the key factors that Shoprite had to consider during the pandemic and how these influenced their strategic decisions.


  • Political Factors: Government lockdowns and restrictions impacted store operations.
  • Economic Factors: Economic downturn affected consumer spending power.
  • Social Factors: Increased health consciousness and demand for safe shopping environments.
  • Technological Factors: Rise in online shopping necessitated robust e-commerce solutions.
  • Legal Factors: Compliance with new health regulations and labor laws.
  • Environmental Factors: Ensuring sustainable practices amidst supply chain disruptions.

These case studies and questions aim to provide Grade 11 students with relatable and specific examples of creative thinking and problem-solving in the South African business context, enhancing their understanding and application of these crucial skills.

Related Posts