Generating & Critiquing Solutions.
Generating & Critiquing Solutions
Prepare a 3-5 page paper. The paper should be organized as follows (use the bold words as major section headings). Compile all work into a single document. Introduction: Include a brief recap of the problem and where you are in the problem-solving process so far (1-2 paragraphs). Divergent Thinking Process: Include the discussion of your divergent thinking process and a list of the solutions you developed. Apply divergent thinking (brainstorming) to determine as many possible solutions to your workplace problem as you can think of. Involve others in this process to get a wide range of solutions from different perspective. Include your discussion of the divergent thinking process, with a bulleted list or a mind map of the solutions (if you create a mind map diagram, include it as an appendix). Refer to Part 1 below for additional details on conducting the session. A high-quality paper will include a description of divergent thinking, an explanation of its value, some key observations about the brainstorming session, and a list or diagram of the possible solutions. Convergent Thinking Process: Include the discussion of your convergent thinking process, and the narrowed-down list or table showing your solutions. See the additional discussion in Part 2 below for more details. A high-quality paper will include a discussion of what convergent thinking is, why it is valuable, and good rationale for why certain solutions will likely prove successful. Revise your list or diagram showing the solutions that made the cut. Devil’s Advocate Thinking: Include the discussion and question-and-answer portion of the devil’s advocate thinking process. Demonstrate your 3-4 best possible (or most plausible) solutions, based on addressing the 6 devil’s advocate questions listed in Part 3 below. You can write this section in paragraph and bullet-point style, and/or create a table that shows a question-and-answer format for the devil’s advocate questions. A high-quality paper will include a discussion of what devil’s advocate thinking is, why it is valuable, and good rationale for why certain solutions will likely prove successful. Conclusion: Write a brief conclusion (about 1 paragraph) with your findings, observations, and a clear and direct statement indicating what you think the primary and secondary solutions are at this stage. See below for more detailed guidelines on the main sections of the paper. Part 1: Divergent Thinking Meet with several people at work, or with others who have a vested interested in your problem. Use divergent thinking (brainstorming) with them to generate as many possible solutions to your problem as you can (aim for 12-15). Make notes about this process – not only the solutions offered, but a description of how the session went. Were members hesitant? Did ideas flow smoothly? Observe the process overall and comment on it along with your list of solutions. Some people like to supplement the written description/list by creating a mind-map diagram or other illustration showing the possible solutions in a visual, creative way. These diagrams can be valuable and more telling than a list. Adhere to the following rules of divergent thinking in order to generate solutions and alternate solutions: Do not evaluate or criticize any responses during your brainstorming session. Remember: the more ideas, the better. Set a time limit (e.g., 15-30 minutes). Build upon or “piggyback” on others’ ideas. Part 2: Convergent Thinking