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Convergent vs Divergent Thinking Exercise

Convergent vs Divergent Thinking Exercise
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Creativity, Decision Making, Design

Article Rating:::: 2 Ratings :::: Tuesday, May 14, 2019

A useful distinction in thinking process was suggested by Joy Paul Guilford in 1967. Guilford coined convergent thinking in contrast with divergent thinking. With convergent thinking, you are trying to find a single best solution to a given problem. Examples are multiple choice tests, math quizzes, spelling tests and many other standardised tests in education systems. Convergent thinking is systematic and logical (Williams 2003).

In contrast, you can use divergent thinking to create several unique solutions for a given problem. Divergent thinking is creative, spontaneous, non-linear and free-flowing. Several solutions are generated over a short period of time and they can lead to unexpected connections, encouraging discovery of yet more unusual solutions.

After carrying out divergent thinking, you end up with a bunch of solutions. You can then use convergent thinking to organise these solutions, analyse pros and cons of each and find the most optimal answer.

The point of the distinction is that you need both processes for good thinking. Being good at convergent, analytical and logical thinking is not enough as you could miss on some creative solutions. In contrast, just coming up with spontaneous creative ideas is not good enough; you need to examine solutions systematically before embarking on an implementation.

Researchers such as Guilford have found that personality traits tend to promote divergent or convergent thinking. As such, in a given team you will have people who are natural at either divergent or convergent thinking and therefore resistant to the other style of thinking

The following exercise helps to bring this distinction to focus and help delegates see the power of thinking differently to what comes naturally to them.

This exercise is ideal for team building or training delegates on management and creativity.

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Chocolate Packaging Design Competition Exercise

Chocolate Packaging Design Competition Exercise
Exercises, Team Building, Exercises for Kids, Marketing, Art, Design

Article Rating:::: 2 Ratings :::: Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Imagine walking into a supermarket and going to the isle dedicated to sweets and chocolates. Here, you are likely to find a section with a variety of block chocolate bars. These are often presented as a package in the form of a rectangle which are usually the same standard size. Most often people go after brands they already recognise. Or perhaps they go for certain flavours or zoom in on 85% dark chocolates and above. This narrows down the search and they quickly decide which chocolate to pick.

However, suppose you go to an upmarket supermarket or specialist chocolate shop where you are presented with many chocolate bars that you don’t recognise. A good example is going to Whole Foods supermarket (which is now owned by Amazon). If you have a local branch, pop in one day and see the chocolate section for yourself. You will see a large selection of chocolate bars that you have never seen before, all claiming to be high-quality, tasty, organic and made from beans in some tropical country. The only differentiator is the price and the design of the chocolate wrap.

This is the dilemma every chocolate manufacturer has: how to design the chocolate packaging to sell. If you were a chocolate manufacturer, you want to get this design and pricing right. In the absence of brand recognition, they are the only things you have that makes the difference between a purchase and a pass.

The aim of this exercise is to help delegates practice various aspects of design that goes into making chocolate bar packaging. We will ignore the pricing part and instead focus on design. If all prices were the same, which chocolate bar will a customer choose?

This exercise is ideal for teambuilding scenarios where delegates are involved in design or marketing. You can then cover a large set of topics under a single exercise, such as product design, teamwork, leadership, resource management, marketing and artistic design. It is also great for kids and young delegates.

You can use this exercise in art courses and focus mainly on design aspects and product packaging. In short, there are many applications and you can use the instructions provided here as a template and tailor it to your own needs.

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Boost Creativity Using the 6-Step Problem Solving Technique

Boost Creativity Using the 6-Step Problem Solving Technique
Training Articles, Creativity, Problem Solving, Design, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 2 Ratings :::: Monday, March 25, 2019

In the 21st century world, we often need to be creative when solving problems especially with the constant need to stand out in today’s crowded markets. Being creative is therefore a very useful skill.

Much like any other skill, creativity is something you can get better at by following a proven structured approach and by practicing. The more systematic the method, the easier it is to practice and master it.

In the past few decades, there has been much progress on creative thinking. The researches on this topic has led to some great insights. It is now well known that resting the brain after intense periods of thinking and problem solving can significantly boost creativity. Many thinkers and experts such as Edison, Einstein and Salvador Dali have utilised this technique to great benefit. The question is how you should go about this to maximise the benefits.

The idea of resting the brain is about silencing your conscious thought (CT) in order to unleash the power of your unconscious thought (UT). That conscious thought, however, must get engaged enough at some point for this whole thing to work.

If you are a trainer or are in a position of teaching any subject, you will inevitably be giving your learners some problems to solve. Problem solving often requires creative thinking. You and your learners can use the 6-Step Problem Solving Technique described here to strengthen your creative thinking. It is designed to help our minds work at peak performance.

 

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Creativity Exercise: Make a Monster

Creativity Exercise: Make a Monster
Games, Exercises, Team Building, Creativity, Exercises for Kids, Resource Management, Art, Design

Article Rating:::: 261 Ratings :::: Monday, November 23, 2015

This is a template for a creativity exercise centred on making monsters. It can be used for kids and adults depending on how you bias it and setup the exercise.

You can consider assigning the task to groups for an exercise on teamwork, teambuilding and management or run it individually for focus on creativity.

Ideally, you should run this exercise as a competition between participants to keep it fun and focused.

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Story Design Exercise: The Alternative

Story Design Exercise: The Alternative
Exercises, Art, Storytelling, Design, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 31 Ratings :::: Monday, September 8, 2014

In this exercise delegates practice designing a story. Story design can be quite challenging so this exercise helps to break it up to a simpler task by giving delegates a helpful starting point. You can use this exercise in conjunction with other story telling exercises to train delegates on various skills required to make a story from scratch.

This exercise may lead to spoiling a number of movies for some delegates who might not have seen the movies yet. Since this exercise works best if everyone has seen a given movie under consideration, and to avoid the spoiling issue, you can consider using a rule that any chosen movie must have been seen by everyone.

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Storytelling Exercise: Make a Story from an Image

Storytelling Exercise: Make a Story from an Image
Exercises, Acting, Art, Storytelling, Design, Creative Writing

Article Rating:::: 29 Ratings :::: Monday, July 14, 2014

Use this exercise to get the delegates design a story based on a single image. The choice of these images can greatly influence the exercise, so use this much like a template to craft a training exercise based on your specific needs.

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Creativity Exercise: Alternative Applications

Creativity Exercise: Alternative Applications
Exercises, Team Building, Creativity, Problem Solving, Design

Article Rating:::: 10 Ratings :::: Monday, February 10, 2014

You can use this generic creativity exercise to get people think of unusual solutions to problems. The idea of the exercise is to force delegates to think about alternatives and then compare their ideas with other people. You can run the exercise with no particular recommendation or methodology. However, if you are going through this exercise as part of courses on creativity skills or problem solving, then you can ask the delegates to consider a specific method to come up with alternative solutions using your nominated method such as random stimuli, NAF, SCAMPER, pictorial or other methods.

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Creativity Exercise: Structured Randomisation to Boost Creative Imagination

Creativity Exercise: Structured Randomisation to Boost Creative Imagination
Exercises, Creativity, Problem Solving, Brainstorming, Art, Design

Article Rating:::: 28 Ratings :::: Monday, November 18, 2013

This exercise helps to stimulate creativity by bringing a variety of random object into consciousness. You can use this exercise during an incubation time between two sessions on problem solving. The exercise helps to make people think of unusual stuff and become conscious of a whole lot of random associations. When they return to the main problem, they end up having more ideas and can connect the new associations with the problem they were considering. This can lead them to potential novel solutions.

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Brainstorming Exercise: Design Shoes

Brainstorming Exercise: Design Shoes
Leadership, Exercises, Problem Solving, Brainstorming, Design

Article Rating:::: 103 Ratings :::: Monday, November 11, 2013

This is an entertaining and educational exercise. It helps to unleash people’s creativity, bring them together and get them to cooperate on a common task and solve problems.

In this exercise, the main aim is to get teams design shoes. You will provide a set of criteria as well as research materials and teams should then work on a creative solution. The designs are compared and a winning team is rewarded.

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Creativity Exercise: Stylish Logos

Creativity Exercise: Stylish Logos
Exercises, Team Building, Large Group, Marketing, Branding, Design

Article Rating:::: 15 Ratings :::: Wednesday, April 17, 2013

This is a feel-good training exercise that gets everyone involved in a creative activity. In this exercise, delegates get to create a variety of illustrations or produce crafts which resemble the logo of their company.

The creative effort is a useful team building activity that brings people closer together by working on something similar and by having a common light-hearted objective. It also makes staff feel warmer towards the company through association by working on the logo.

The results of delegates efforts will be a series of artwork produced in various styles and with different materials all resembling the logo of the company. The logos can then be then displayed in the foyer of the company where customers and visitors can observe them. It could signal that the company is a fun place to work in and that staff care about the company and are happy to be there.

This exercise is ideal for delegates who are from the same company.

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