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K. Brian Dorval

Brian has 30+ years of experience helping people, teams, and organizations significantly improve their personal performance and business results.  He has delivered hundreds of innovation programs, training courses, and management-coaching and performance-improvement sessions for companies in 21 countries. 


As past vice president of client services for the Creative Problem Solving Group, Inc., Brian worked with many Fortune 500 and Times 1000 organizations to enhance performance in innovation.


Most recently, funded in part by the US Coast Guard’s grant program, Brian designed and facilitated the National On-Water Standards (NOWS) Program, one of the largest collaboration initiatives in recreational boating history, which produced national consensus on four American National Standards for On-Water, Skills-based instruction in recreational boat operation.

In other performance areas, Brian is a USPTA-certified tennis professional, who specializes in the mental game. He has worked with regionally and nationally ranked junior tennis players, as well as adults of all levels, to improve mental toughness and enhance performance in pressure situations.

Brian was the lead designer and head tennis professional for Western New York’s specially designed Shining Stars Adaptive Tennis Program™, which brings the experience of tennis to children with autism. He was also presented with the 2017 Regional Volunteer of the Year Award at the National Tennis Center by the USPTA Eastern Division.


Brian has conducted original research on the relationship between creative thinking and mental imagery and uses the results of this and other research to help organizations, teams, and individuals better understand and use their creative talents to solve performance problems in new ways.  He is also on the Advisory Board of the Center for Creativity in Professional Practice at City University's Cass Business School, London, UK.


Brian holds a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Rhode Island College where he received the Robert Hetherman Award for superior achievement in athletic and academic activities.  He also has a master of science degree in creativity and innovation from the International Center for Studies in Creativity, Buffalo State College.  The Center awarded Brian its first Excellence in Creative Leadership Award, given for excellence in service to educational programs, scholarship mission and public program management.

Brian is one of the co-developers of Creative Problem Solving (CPS) version 6.1™, publishing more than 60 articles, chapters and books on the topics of creativity, mental imagery and problem solving.  


Some of Brian’s publications include:

  • VIEW and Teamwork at a Distance. With Samantha Stead. Think First Serve Inc. Buffalo, NY (2020)

  • Preparing to be at your Best with the 4Rs. With Samantha Stead. Think First Serve Inc. Buffalo, NY (2020)

  • Using American National Standards to Design and Deliver On-Water, Skills-based Instruction for Safer Boating.  Technical Support Document for the Instructional Approach Standard (Managing Editor) (2018)

  • Developing a Safety Culture:  The people and the process.  The US Coast Guard Journal of Safety & Security at Sea PROCEEDINGS of the Marine Safety & Security Council (Fall-Winter, 2016) 

  • Consensus-based Approaches to Developing National Standards. IBWSS conference proceedings. IBWSS: San Diego: CA (2012) 

  • Creative Approaches to Problem Solving:  A Framework for Innovation and Change. Third Edition. With S. G. Isaksen and D. J. Treffinger. Sage Publications (2011)

  • Creative Problem Solving:  An Introduction.  Fourth Edition. With D. J. Treffinger and S. G. Isaksen. Prufrock Press (2006)

  • “The birth of novelty: Ensuring new ideas get a fighting chance.”  With K. J. Lauer in The PDMA Toolbook for New Product Development. Wiley & Sons (2004)


  • “Servant-leadership and creativity.”  With T. L. Freeman and S. G. Isaksen in Focus on leadership:  Servant leadership for the twenty-first century.  L. C. Spears, & M. Lawrence (Eds). Wiley & Sons (2002)

  • Toolbox for Creative Problem Solving:  Basic Tools and Resources. With S. G. Isaksen and D. J. Treffinger.  Creative Problem Solving Group (1998)

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