I’ve been inactive for a few days again, I am definitely going to find away around being very busy and writing at the same time. One of the key things that have kept me busy in the last few days is the topic above. The company I work for – Generis Solutions, trained the middle management staff one of the leading banks in Nigeria on – Maximizing Creative and Logical Thinking. It was a 2 days event, very intellectually stimulating and exciting for the participants, and very satisfying for the Generis Team.
In case you are wondering what kind of training this is, this is meant to give you a few of the insights into why this needs to be trained. The human brain does not think naturally, thinking is by conscious and deliberate effort.
The first thing we need to understand is how the human brain works. For a long time the particular position of the human brain was not even known, talk less of understanding it’s workings. Even today, when the average person is asked to point at where the sit of his or her emotions is, he or she will point at the chest area… All these functionalities sit in the human brain, and that is in the head. Current research has also shown that the human being does not have one brain – He actually has two! Not two parts of the same brain, two different brains with different functionalities. It is also interesting to know, that the human brain is not a thinking machine, rather it is a pattern making organ. The brain seeks to develop a pattern or subroutine for everything it has done or seen. The mind finds it easy to set, hence mindsets.
In studying the human brain it was also observed that when faced with a problem, a human being does 2 things. It perceives and then it processes. More often than not the main problem with inability to solve problems is not the processing but rather the perception. Like Albert Einstein was quoted to have said, it takes thinking on a higher level to solve a problem created at another level. When faced with a problem, we all have the tendency of latching on directly with our developed mindsets. This is contrary to creative thinking.
To think creatively, one of the first things we must do is break the natural pattern of the need for convergence by the human mind. The human mind is naturally convergent and seeks to make explanations for what it does not understand. Let’s say you wake up after hearing a cry in the middle of the night for example. You mind desires to comprehend what just happened, you stand up and look out your window, everything seems calm, you remember you have a cat downstairs, and say to yourself, “its a cat” and go back to sleep. You mind has converged, whether or not it is logical is not the question. This is the natural tendency of the mind. The creative thinking process however encourages you to deliberately utilize tools that will help you diverge. It helps you to seek other possibilities of what the problem can be before going ahead to provide a solution.
A man woke up one morning and found water on his water bed, he immediately got up, took his phone and called the person he believed could fix the bed. The man came around checked out the bed thoroughly and charged him for his time. The next morning the man woke up again, and there was water on his water bed. Angry, he calls this man again and complains that the same problem he had paid him for yesterday had surfaced again. He went on and on about poor service in the country and how he had been cheated. The repair man explained to him that nothing was wrong with the water bed, he had only charged the man for wasting his time. The real problem was that the water was coming from a bathroom upstairs. How often do we rush into solving the wrong problems? We do this because our minds focus immediately, we get the perception wrong and the processing cannot be right. The first thing to do when faced with a problem is to clarify the issue. This we can do by using a number of brainstorming tools.
Once we have clarified the issue, the next thing we do is a restatement of the problem. More often that not, it is interesting to see that the problem we thought we had wasn’t the one we had. Almost through the training on Monday and Tuesday, I could not help noticing that every one of the role plays showed that the problem was always different from what the participants had thought it was. Can you imagine that?
Once you have a restatement of the problem, the next step is to again break the natural convergence tendency and brainstorm for possible solutions. You will be surprised that you could at times come up with close to 50 possible solutions you never would have seen if you didn’t venture to think divergently. Again this requires the use of some standard tools. After generating these solutions, the you then converge together with your brainstorming team and minimize to a few of the solutions. All these processes (clarifying the issue, problem restatement, searching, focusing, developing solutions, e.t.c.) require the use of standard some tools.
Your brain is capable of achieving much more than it’s presently positioned to achieve. Start maximizing your creative and logical thinking today. For more information about this or to be scheduled for training on this, feel free to contact me.
All the best.