Friday, January 18, 2019

Divergent Thinking and Creativity

Creativity has many forms and manifestations. Divergent thinking is one of the most critical thought processes to develop creativity.

Creativity is an innate ability to create novel ideas, divergent thinking is a thought process to generate many ideas and explore many possible solutions. Creativity is both innate and a skill. Creativity is a response to a stimulus and that individuals will manifest different thought processes and behavioral responses to that stimulus depending on their individual cognition and experiences. Developing creativity requires both self-awareness and internal motivation, divergent and convergent thought processes.

Divergent thinking is a thought process to generate creative ideas: Divergent thinkers develop the mental techniques to come up with great ideas and explore different solutions to the problem. They do not take things for granted, challenge conventional wisdom or some automatic assumptions about the problem, gain a new perspective to understand it, and practice “out of the box” thinking to come up with better solutions. Divergent thinking typically occurs in a spontaneous and flow manner, such that many ideas are generated in an emergent cognitive fashion. Ideas are seeds of creativity that can change a certain situation and future. Divergent thinking is nurtured by interdisciplinary knowledge and enriched life experience. In life, we come across various experiences (exposure to various situations) as wider dots, the more dots you have, the better chance your mind can connect them freely.

The divergent thinking is sort of free thinking to keep your mind free, to explore and question: Creativity is the "soaring factor." Creativity is the wind. Creativity is the saving grace. If you empty your desire to accept something, your mind will be free. A free mind is like the flowing wave which is open to the new fountain of thought and to come up with fresh ideas via divergent thought processes. The divergent thinking can be stimulated by asking good questions. The clear manifestation of intellectual curiosity is to ask good questions, the open questions, the profound questions, and the thought-provoking questions to trigger divergent thought processes for generating novel ideas. Divergent thinking is dynamic, intense, and spontaneous. It can be critical to identify the patterns or jump into the future; it can touch the ground to permeate into the seashore, or it might splash up to make a momentum. When there is a strong inner urge and mind flow, there is a movement, there are circulation and energy to boost creativity.

Develop a diverse team to amplify divergent thinking effect: Collectively, the digital workforce today is hyper-connected and diverse in many ways, share a natural affinity for new perspectives, fresh ideas, and collective insight. One of the biggest challenges in this complex digital world with high velocity and uncertainty is the fact that we need different perspectives, different knowledge and different ways to solve many existing and emerging business problems. Sometimes there is no "one" answer, there are some or many. Therefore, it’s best to bring a group of people together with the cognitive difference such as different backgrounds, capabilities, strengths etc, together in order to stimulate creativity by obtaining such way of divergent thinking. Getting crazy ideas isn't a problem; having too much information may cause a problem if it is not processed effectively. Because ideas are built on other ideas and that idea combination is a powerful technique, and then having a big amount of ideas is a good thing as long as you then try and get the best attributes of the ones you like and combine them into one solid implementation/ outcome. The digital workforce today is hyper-connected and divergent in many ways, share a natural affinity for new perspectives, innovations, and collective wisdom. Flexible digital leaders and professional do not focus on hierarchy but on ideas, innovation, openness, and problem-solving via harnessing cross-functional communication, fostering collaboration and embracing collective insight.

Creativity has many forms and manifestations. Divergent thinking is one of the most critical thought processes to develop creativity. By manifesting creativity from an individual endeavor to a team activity and a collective effort, the horizon of creativity is expanded and the collective creative potential can be unleashed.


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