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Basics of Idea Formation

History is evident that every development, innovation, and invention began as a simple thought. Initially, everything is a blank slate when the person is simply brainstorming all the possibilities and thoughts that come to him at once. After giving each concept a careful thought, the person then wonders what other options there might be for the situation. The process of generating ideas - functions much like a plan that needs to be carried out. It aids in the development of novel theories as well as the discovery of methods and approaches for resolving numerous issues.

A researcher or marketer will always try to understand why a customer wants something, what variables are affecting the customer's shift in behavior, what features they desire and look for in the product, and how the business will deliver it to them. How they can improve upon current technologies, goods, or services, or how to invent something entirely new. This is the catalyst for idea generation, which results in the invention of something new or the improvement of an existing one. The main goal of inventions is to improve and simplify life. Things that are utilized every day to the innovations that are now being implemented are all examples of innovations.

But it is also important to decide what changes are required and where. Planning and decision making plays an important role in the industry as before launching any new product in the market.


In today’s time it has become very essential to think in a broader aspect. But how does one think in a wider aspect? How could the team be challenged to think differently? As in the society we live in, it has its own set of prototypes or monotonous ways to do some things.

What is Divergent thinking?

Divergent thinking is a process of thinking or creating multiple solutions to address abstract or intransigent (inflexible) issues. Divergent thinking helps the individual to derive the most appropriate solution as per the evaluation. It provides the opportunity to the employees to think in multiple directions and new perspectives.

In the present time many industries have started promoting the scheme of divergent thinking among the organizations. As most of them believe that creativity is not just limited to one assigned team or divisions. Knowledge is a vast concept.

The employees, not from the creative team, might have a different and unbiased perspective towards a particular problem. Understanding the need of the time, most of the organizations have released the scheme of “Employee Participation”. Where the employees give their suggestions as per their understanding and perspective of the problem, the solution is accepted and worked upon, when the outcome is favorable the management rewards the individual.

The management encourages such divergent thinking i.e. uncommon and not in similarity of thinking like the other team members - that was rewarded with monetary or non monetary incentives like bonus, awards, vacation trip with the family etc. This scheme has resulted in an increase in the morale of the employees, giving them the feeling of inclusivity, making the process more flexible allowing the management and the employees to adapt the nuances and proceed accordingly.

Why is divergent thinking important?

  • Helps to assess the problem

  • Provides insight

  • Increases creativity

  • Helps to think of multiple ideas

  • Gives a new perspective

  • Enhances the opportunity to brainstorm

Creative Thinking

Why does a person need creative thinking abilities? Isn’t it something that we all have as our innate qualities? Well the answer is ‘YES’ we all need creative thinking abilities because it helps an individual to interact effectively and participate in things and deal with the situations that require finding creative and different solutions.

Creative thinking helps an individual to think from a new and fresh perspective. It helps in finding different ways and possibilities to do a thing, it encourages an individual to think from a different point of view and move away from their usual pattern or perspective, and provides an openness to new ideas.

Creative thinking is also known as ‘Thinking out of the box’.

Why is creative thinking important?

  • To have an open mind while thinking about solutions.

  • Gives a new perspective

  • Increases effectiveness

  • Makes you curious and mentally active

  • Builds teamwork and bonding

  • Promotes Innovation

Generally creative and divergent thinking go hand in hand. People often use both words simultaneously. Just the basic difference in both of them is divergent thinking means brainstorming ideas in all the directions whereas creative thinking provides a new perspective and direction to think in.

Convergent thinking

So now, why do we need convergent thinking when most of the things and purposes are already fulfilled in the divergent thinking. As it is the main source from where we get all the ideas and all the brainstorming is done. So what is the role of convergent thinking in the whole scenario?

What is convergent thinking?

Convergent thinking is basically the opposite of divergent thinking. In divergent thinking we brainstorm ideas as much as possible. In convergent thinking we cut down all the ideas after analyzing , processing them as per the situation demands and planning the strategies accordingly.

Convergent thinking clearly focuses on finding the best solution out of all the possible alternatives i.e. finding well defined solutions.

Why is convergent thinking important?

  • Helps in decision process

  • Provides a meticulous plan

  • Plan strategies

  • Helps in execution process

  • The solutions derived are accurate for most of the time

  • No room for ambiguity

  • To derive at one solution

To keep an industry functioning the management requires and expects people with both divergent and convergent perspectives. While divergent perspectives help in finding more creative ideas, convergent thinking helps in finding the best possible solution, planning and executing plans depends on the task requirement and its interrelated factors.

For e.g. The management decides to release a new scheme for Employee Assistance Program and ask the employees for their solution. The employees brain storm ideas and provide solutions as per their perspectives keeping in mind their mental and emotional state of mind, working conditions, work environment, family background etc. this whole process can be considered as divergent thinking.

Whereas on the other hand when the management decides which suggestion should be taken into consideration, planning and execution of the same is done on that one idea or solution that is finalized, this whole process can be considered as convergent thinking.

Counterfactual thinking

Do we randomly make decisions in a firm about whatever changes that need to be done? No, right! There is a systematic process of how we decide on the decisions that need to be made. For that we plan precisely, see all the aspects of a scenario, consider all the possible outcomes before deciding on one thing. Counterfactual thinking basically means that we know the facts we are just doing all over check to reduce the risk and uncertainty factor. This basically provides answers satisfactorily to the questions like - “What if” , “ What if a situation like this occurs” etc.

Why is counterfactual thinking important?

  • Reduces uncertainty

  • Helps to avoid blunders that had occurred in the past

  • Make changes in pattern and behavior in a positive manner

  • Run a final check before finalization


To keep a company in function the management needs people who can think in a broader perspective , then narrow it down to one thing and the people who can question it. Which reduces the risk factor for the business, helps in planning better strategies and increases productivity.


Hope you found this article helpful. If you or your organization is interested to learn more about such attributes and behavioral skills at the workplace, feel free to get in touch with us at RGB Training Services!


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