Convergent + Divergent
Fascination is at the core of our day-to-day motivation. We move toward what enchants our creative fire.
Our own fascinations are determined by the unique ways in which we see the world, its gaps, patterns, and intricacies—we all interpret them differently (which is a key factor when looking at and creating visual works). Some choose to work a problem from the outside in, while others choose to work from the inside out.
Visualize these approaches converging in v-shape. Creative problem-solvers can often be divided into two primary camps: convergent and divergent thinkers. Convergent thinkers are those who consider a wide variety of factors as they begin to work their way from the fray into a single pinpoint answer. Divergent thinkers, on the other hand, prefer to start from a single pinpoint and work their way out into the fray as they consider as many solutions as possible.
Using both of these methods in group creative problem solving is crucial because it allows for a healthy balance between big-picture solutions (divergent) and detail-oriented, calculated solutions (convergent).
I have found that a key to avoiding creative ruts is maintaining a balanced amount of these kinds of thinkers on any given team. The wider the range of thinkers in a group, the wider the range of possibilities for solving problems. Our world becomes more interesting, more intriguing with the critique and input of others. Though we can deem ourselves as brilliant problem solvers, the reality is that another set of eyes is always needed to see our design differently and point out where connections and patterns don’t make sense.
In the end, great works are created by balanced teams that understand healthy ways to critique visual work, incorporating just enough information to tell a full story while leaving out just enough to entice curiosity and spark creativity. Being part of such a team is something that I love about my work at ColorWord Creative, and something I hope to foster as we grow and stoke our creative fires together.
Stay fascinated; stay fascinating.
- Katie Dunbar