There are six stages of creative problem solving, where both divergent and convergent thought processes are used. These steps are essential for the search for data and then the narrowing of data.
During the convergence, the data that is very close to the point of issue or close enough to warrant further consideration are selected. Specific related and relevant items are individually known as hits and a cluster of such hits are known as ‘hotspots’.
This stage employs divergent thinking to list the problems. Convergence is then used to identify the relevant areas for further discussion. ‘Hits’ and ‘hotspots’ are identified finding priorities, importance of the problem, its urgency, and its nature.
Next is the fact-finding stage, where understanding of the problem is increased by collating of relevant information. This also helps new ideas to be generated. ‘Hits’ and ‘hotspots’ help to see the problem in a new light.
In this stage, all the previous-stage ‘hits’ are used to identify the most productive problem listings.
In this stage, creative problem solving teams look for potential solutions. Mainly divergent activity is used to bring out many ideas using idea-generation aids.
All the implementable ideas are filtered out and their feasibilities are checked.
It is a divergent activity that helps to implement solutions successfully via −
● Listing possible hurdles and ways to overcome them
● Developing implementation and contingency plans
● Generating Action Plans for working
Many people get used to traditional ideas, and this is often one of the main barriers to creative problem solving. Because of this thought, people and organizations tend to fall into a variety of traps when trying to become more innovative.
Arranging for group sessions where individuals brainstorm on ideas reduce the risk of making mistakes as individuals and it will also reduce personal prejudices. By sharing a problem with people or by making our ideas heard, we will be getting the chance to understand other people’s reactions and suggestions.