Creative Thinking Tools Creativity Design Thinking Teams


Explode—Divergent thinking

Take risks, be per­sis­tent, be curi­ous. Fail ear­ly and fail often.

Using the inspi­ra­tions that were col­lect­ed in phase one, the team offer up ideas that address the needs of the brief. Team mem­bers can offer up fresh con­cepts or build on the work of oth­ers.

Go for quan­ti­ty, explore each idea entire­ly. Be spon­ta­neous diver­gent think­ing should be free-flow­ing, look for con­nec­tions. Think with your hands, make things. These could be:

  • Sim­ple notes
  • Free writ­ings
  • Code Snip­pets
  • Mod­els
  • Doo­dles
  • Sto­ry­boards
  • Sounds/Pieces of Music
  • Act it out

This is a heads up exer­cise were we keep look­ing at the work of those around us and the inspi­ra­tion gath­ered ear­li­er in order to spawn more ideas. Encour­age the things we like, use lan­guage that explores/broadens rather then directs/narrows.

How much is enough? A team of 4–5 should be able to eas­i­ly pro­duce 100+ con­cepts in less then an hour. Teams may loose ener­gy very ear­ly less then 10 con­cepts in the process. Feel­ing that the “right answer” has been found already and that time is being wast­ed that could be used on pro­duc­tion. This is quite nat­ur­al amongst groups new to this type of process, or jad­ed by pri­or expe­ri­ence. At this point the facil­i­ta­tor needs to come for­ward and step the group up and down the brief ask­ing explor­ing ques­tions. Open up the team to new process of explo­ration. Encour­age, don’t dis­miss or cor­rect unless all oth­er options have been explored.