About Analyze

Analyze Consulting was founded in 2007 with the purpose to help businesses get to the bottom of and solve business inefficiencies. The cornerstone of this dream is a passion for quality business analysis and project management.

We are motivated and rewarded by helping businesses be more efficient and solve problems.

We believe that the best way for us to do this is to start with a deep and thorough understanding of the problem or opportunity. The discipline and insight that we apply to this enables us to be confident and truly objective about defining the best possible solution.

Our vision is to be the partner of choice in solving business challenges through the appropriate use of technology, process and people.

Get In Touch

Email: info@analyze.co.za

Tel: +27 (0)21 447 5696

Cape Town Office:
The Studios – Unit 314
Old Castle Brewery Building
6 Beach Road
Woodstock
7925

Johannesburg Office:
Block A
Homestead Park
37 Homestead Road
Rivonia
2191

Generating ideas using divergent & convergent thinking

//Generating ideas using divergent & convergent thinking

Within the world of problem solving and idea generation, there are two schools of thought:  Divergent thinking and convergent thinking.  Let’s take a closer look at what these two terms mean:

 

  • With divergent thinking – think free flowing & abstract
    The goal here is to come up with as many answers, concepts or suggestions as possible.  This of course requires a lot of creativity with no restrictions.  No answer should be seen as wrong or too crazy, all ideas should be considered, no matter how left field they seem.  Sometimes the best solution isn’t obvious right off the bat, but a crazy idea could have grounding for a solid idea to develop from it.

 

  • With convergent thinking – think structured & well-defined
    This technique is best used where the answer to the problem should be relatively straightforward. It requires far less creativity and way more logic.  With convergent thinking, you’ll draw from common knowledge, facts, previous learnings and recorded data.  Think of exams at school or university for example.  To pass these, you had to apply convergent thinking, not divergent thinking.

 

From this definition, these two thinking methods can seem competing in many ways, and for a very long time it was seen as an either or option.  But over recent years this view has slowly changed and more and more companies are realising the benefits of employing both.

Now the question is:  How do you use both divergent thinking & convergent thinking towards improved problem solving?  At Analyze, we recommend a two-step process:

 

  • Step 1:  Start with divergence
    Divergent thinking can be a daunting task, especially if your team does not fancy themselves as being creative.  The fact is, creativity is not owned by “creatives”.  We all have creative ability if given the chance to explore this part of our persona.  Create a safe zone where ideas can flow, use other companies doing great things within your industry as a source of creative stimulus and collaborate with other departments/teams to come up with a broader range of ideas.  The most important thing to remember is to resist the temptation to shoot down an idea that seems too impractical or unrealistic in any way.  Every idea must be documented, no matter what.

 

  • Step 2:  Finetune with convergence
    Now that you’ve got that list of ideas, it’s time to narrow them down to find your ultimate solution. At this point you need to consider things like your customer preferences and what you think will resonate with them most, your team and corporate culture and how this influences project dynamics, as well as your broader company strategy and goals.  Use these to define a set of criteria that can be used to evaluate each idea and assign a viability score.  If you end up with 2 or more equally promising options, ask your team to do a quick vote to see which one they’d choose and why.  It’s a great way of generating a productive debate which will help to narrow things down further.

 

Need someone to facilitate a think tank session or brainstorming exercise?  Could your team benefit from an outsider’s perspective to assist with solving a particular problem?  Get in touch.

1 Comment

  • linzi@analyze.co.za'

    It always creates a space where everyone has an opportunity to contribute towards problems solving , regardless of preferred thinking style.

    Linzi Isaacs 26.09.2018

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.