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Convergent vs. Divergent Thinking

March 20, 2011

Last week in class we briefly discussed convergent vs. divergent thinking and I promised to post further information.  We use convergent thinking when we want to take information from a variety of sources and narrow our options to develop one correct answer.  Conversely, with divergent thinking we start from one point and generate multiple options to resolve the problem or issue.  (See Figure 1)

Figure 1 – Convergent vs. Divergent Thinking (Source: http://www.best-personal-growth-resources.com/divergent-thinking.html, 2011)

divergent thinking

The blog post, Creative Thinking: Diverge and Converge, illustrates some of the techniques used in convergent and divergent thinking.  We frequently default to convergent thinking; focusing our attention on “the right answer”.  Some situations require convergence, others are better resolved with divergence.  As Project Managers, we must remember that we have many tools to work with and decide which method offers the best resolution.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Matt B. permalink
    March 21, 2011 12:47 pm

    Thanks Margaret, great illustration of the concept. Sorry to be missing class tomorrow, but thanks for all the great sessions!

    • March 21, 2011 1:56 pm

      Matt,

      Thanks. Have a great trip and please stay in touch.

      Margaret

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