The human mind functions in two distinct phases: the idea production phase (impulses and imagination) and the selection phase (evaluation).
These two phases of thought, divergent and convergent, naturally alternate when we’re making decisions, constituting a true dynamic equilibrium.
Training one’s creative thinking entails being able to consciously use divergent and convergent thinking in two separate moments. In approaching a problem, it’s crucial to keep these two processes distinct from one another if we wish to find a new and useful solution.
The main characteristics of divergent thinking are: fluidity, flexibility, elaboration, originality. Thanks to these characteristics, we’re able to find a large number of diverse and innovative solutions by producing different types of ideas and building upon ideas that come up either by combining them amongst themselves or adding them to already existing solutions.
Instead, in the application of convergent thinking, the tools of selection, choosing, and prioritizing emerge. These characteristics enable us to make a decision between numerous and diverse options. We’re able to discard some hypotheses, to divide ideas into categories or groups, and to create a prioritized listing of various options.
To train creative thinking it’s important to respect the rules for the application of these two types of thinking, which are trained in two distinct moments.
RULES OF DIVERGENT THINKING
– Defer judgment
– Seek “quantity”
– Seek novelty (crazy and unusual ideas)
– Combine ideas
RULES OF CONVERGENT THINKING
– Use affirmative judgment
– Keep novelty alive
– Be resolute and decisive
– Check objectives