We often think of innovation as coming from a “Eureka!” moment – a sudden burst of creativity that leads to a new invention or idea. But the reality is that most innovative ideas are the result of a more gradual process.
It starts with what psychologists call “divergent thinking” – the ability to come up with multiple solutions to a problem. This is usually the first step in any creative process, whether it’s coming up with ideas for a new product or solving a complex mathematical equation.
Divergent thinking is important because it allows us to see problems from different perspectives and come up with original solutions. But it’s only the first step. The next step is to take those ideas and turn them into something tangible.
This is where “convergent thinking” comes in. Convergent thinking is the ability to take all of those different ideas and narrow them down to the best solution. This usually involves some trial and error, as well as a lot of hard work.
Finally, once you have a convergent solution, it’s important to “test and iterate.” This means putting your idea to the test and seeing how it works in the real world. This feedback loop is essential for any successful innovation because it allows you to fine-tune your idea until it’s just right.
So, next time you have a great idea, remember that it’s probably the result of a long process of divergent and convergent thinking. And don’t forget to test and iterate!
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