Archive for December, 2019

Exercise: Divergent-Convergent Thinking Training Worksheet

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

We introduce the idea of divergent-convergent thinking cycles in our YCISL workshops. It is the structured pathway method to creative thinking, decision making and problem solving. School curricula generally emphasize convergent thinking only which limits creativity.

Three years after releasing the Turn the Donkey lesson, a Divergent-Convergent Thinking Trainer lesson is being released to our YCISL LinkedIn group.

This exercise is intended for practice and as a reminder to apply divergent-convergent thinking cycles in our creative behavior. The exercise comprises a series of worksheets each formatted slightly differently to inculcate agility in how we apply the method to different situations.

The first worksheet being released introduces divergent-convergent thinking in its simplest 2-choice form. Subsequent lines on the worksheet then stretch the divergent part of the exercise. Currently, the exercises converge on a single item, but in reality convergence could be on a group.

An example, run with the DIRECTIONS prompt with two circles and one square, might have Up (1st circle), Down (2nd circle) and Up (square) as an answer set.

The purpose is to train agility into the practice of divergent-convergent thinking, but also to familiarize us with the steps: interpreting the prompt, starting, completing the divergent part, and quickly finishing with the convergent part. Speed is key, but so is confidence in getting through the cycle.

And once the cycle is complete, a creative person should be able to start another cycle right away if needed.

Duncan Wardle: The Theory of Creativity (TEDxAUK)

Monday, December 9th, 2019

I’m working on a YCISL White Paper currently on the question “Where is your creativity?” so that we can feel more secure by finding our own creativity and having it at the ready for when we need it. Speaking of which…Duncan Wardle asks in his 2018 TEDxAUK talk the question “When does your creativity flourish?” and describes a variety of “brain states” which explain our creativity behaviors.

One common theme in response to this “When?” question is when we are calm and relaxed. This is consistent with our YCISL approach through positivity and intrinsic motivation. The “door” to creativity is typically shut tight when we are stressed or feeling negative. And just being in a particular place that virtually reminds us of stress or negativity can have that stifling effect making the “when” seem like never.

In the YCISL, we have a variety of training methods to access our creative energy:

  • seek creative flow and avoid pre-mature self-editing
  • learn to frame the problem in different ways
  • set a cyclic rhythm between divergent and convergent thinking

With these skills, we should have more control on the question of “when do find creative ideas?”