Shared Practice: Convergent and Divergent Thinking

Have you ever found yourself faced with a substantial challenge and realized that you had no idea how to begin addressing the problem? Many people, when they want to overcome a difficulty or problem, wait for “inspiration to strike.” As you’ve learned in this course, however, being creative is not a process of passively waiting for inspiration to strike you, but rather a systematic process requiring active thought and effort.

In the Resources this week you will explore how to actively generate ideas, refine those ideas, and address problems and challenges. For this Shared Practice, you will practice divergent and convergent thinking to solve a challenge facing you.

Select one problem, either in your personal or professional life, that you currently have ownership of and motivation to solve. Practice divergent thinking by generating a list of possible solutions or approaches to your problem. Then, practice convergent thinking and select the solution that you think holds the most promise. Be sure to justify your selection. Read “The Paradox of Samsung’s Rise” and consider how Samsung integrated the cultures of employees from all over the globe in order to stimulate creativity and innovation. Consider the influences of culture on this type of thinking and creativity in general.

Post by Day 3, post the following:

  • A brief description of the problem along with your list of solutions, the solution you selected, and the justification for your selection.
  • Next, describe the experience of using divergent thinking and convergent thinking. If you had not approached the problem using divergent and convergent practices in a systematic way, would you have arrived at the same solution? Explain why or why not.
  • Finally, explain any aspects of culture that could either inhibit or support this creative process.