Divergent Thinking in the Age of Convergence

Divergent Thinking and Creativity
According to Sir Ken Robinson, divergent thinking is an essential capacity for creativity. It's the ability to see lots of possible answers to a question, lots of ways to interpret a question, or to think laterally, as Edward de Bono would say, to see multiple answers and not just one.

Last week, to answer the question can creativity be taught? we examined how creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value. In this RSA Animate video (it cuts off at the end, it's not you), Sir Ken Robinson says that we start school topping the charts for divergent thinking, as proven by test scores, and we progressively get educated out of our natural curiosity to explore.

At the very end, he also says that most great learning happens in groups. Collaboration is the stuff of growth. Yet it is not only in schools that people are separated and expected to deliver individually. Much of what many service providers sell as collaboration to clients is serial work strung together at the last minute.

This is where the last element in the video comes in — the habits of our organizations, and the habitats they occupy. Examine a number of organizations in your industry and what you likely find is similar habits, for example hiring the same kinds of people they already have on staff, same habitat. 


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