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While much of Brainzooming is focused on divergent thinking (i.e. expanding the range of possibilities considered), it’s important to also have strong convergent thinking skills for times when you have to narrow possibilities, make decisions, and implement a recommendation.

Beyond the benefits of honing your skills at both types of thinking, it’s important to know when each approach is most appropriate. There are definitely more instances now where I’m willing to shift toward convergent thinking, even though I might have previously ardently fought for exploring more possibilities.

Here are five situations where it may make sense to go against an inclination to push for more possibilities and instead settle for an existing alternative:

  • It’s an issue that “doesn’t matter” based on a lack of either significance or permanence.
  • Multiple unsuccessful cases have been made for alternatives, and you’re at risk of deteriorating strategic relationships through continued persistence.
  • Resource constraints (time, people, investment, etc.) clearly preclude exploration of better alternatives.
  • Someone is resolute in a choice and clearly beyond “being helped” by considering what you view as a more appropriate approach.
  • The best current alternative is good enough relative to expectations.

All week, we’ll cover topics related to convergent thinking, and how it can be used appropriately within a strategic thinking orientation.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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