Do you like to know a way to get to find great ideas and make good decisions? That is what you use Divergent Thinking for. Now I’m going to show you the “Bee Technique”, the method I developed using Divergent and Convergent Thinking. With it, I already helped a lot of people from the companies that I mentor in business development and customer experience.
INDEX OF CONTENTS
Those are the subjects we are going to develop within this article. Feel free to follow the order or go to those that you think you need the most.
- WHAT IS IT DIVERGENT THINKING AND CONVERGENT THINKING?
- HOW CAN “THE BEE TECHNIQUE” HELP YOU?
- “THE BEE TECHNIQUE” STEP BY STEP.
- FINAL THOUGHTS.
WHAT IS IT DIVERGENT THINKING AND CONVERGENT THINKING?
We are making decisions all the time. Probably you already have noticed that when you try to solve a problem, you do this in your mind almost unconsciously: You first try to get a lot of different alternatives, and then choose the best one. Here is where Divergent and Convergent Thinking are taking place. Let’s know more about these two:
DIVERGENT THINKING IS OPENING THE DOOR TO MULTIPLE POSSIBILITIES.
This is what Wikipedia says about Divergent Thinking: “is a thought process or method used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions”. That’s right. We’re using all our creative resources to generate as many ideas as we can. Even if we consider that some of the ideas are too superficial or too far from the situation that I’d like to solve initially. I’m not judging the ideas, I’m only generating them.
Of course, if I only use this tool I’d be worse than when I started to solve the problem. At that point, I’d have dozens, hundreds of options, but I wouldn’t know which one is the best. Have you been in that situation before? The uncertainty is terrible!
CONVERGENT THINKING IS PICKING THE BEST ALTERNATIVE.
Again, this is what you can find in Wikipedia about convergent thinking: “as the opposite of divergent thinking. It generally means the ability to give the “correct” answer to standard questions that do not require significant creativity”.
And yes, maybe to do the filtering of all those options that divergent thinking gave us doesn’t need a lot of creativity, but I can tell you that you’d better have a method to do it right.
Here is when “The BEE Technique” comes into action.
HOW CAN “THE BEE TECHNIQUE” HELP YOU??
Imagine that you could have a trusted technique in these situations:
- Come to a solution when you have the premises but you don’t know how to continue.
- Find a new idea using your creativity and innovation.
- Choose an alternative from a lot of possibilities.
Divergent Thinking is very useful for all those situations. But you have to use it in an organized and methodic way. That’s what “The Bee Technique” exists for.
ADVANTAGES OF USING “THE BEE TECHNIQUE”:
These are the most relevant advantages you can enjoy:
- Save time when in decision making and problem resolution.
- Save energy (mostly mental) trying to organize the information, o trying to get new ideas from zero.
- Avoid insecurity and doubts. Improve your trust in the final solution you choose.
UPDATE: WHY THIS NAME, “THE BEE TECHNIQUE”?
Some of you asked me why this name. Well, the name is nice and metaphoric: Like Bees, we recollect all the thoughts and ideas that are spread as flowers in the country. Then, we process them until the point we get the best idea’s honey.
But this is not the only reason. There is one big reason that is an experiment that I made. It relates to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). If you are curious about it, you just have to check this article: One trick to create a catchy article title
THE BEE TECHNIQUE STEP BY STEP.
Follow these steps and you get to the answer you’re looking for. Of course, it’s very important that you take notes during the process. You know that I prefer to use Mind Meister (Mind Maps). If you still don’t know them, here you have the best book from his creator, Tony Buzan: Mind Map Mastery, the complete guide. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation when you purchase through those links. Thanks!]
You can also know much more about the use of Mind Maps with an example of how we use it, here: How to start your business from scratch.
Either with the computer or with pen and paper, it’s time to follow the steps:
A) CHOOSE THE IDENTITY WHERE YOU’D LIKE TO WORK FROM.
This may sound strange, but it is really important. Imagine this situation: You have to find solutions to reduce the use of plastics to avoid damage to the environment. If you were the CEO of a plastic company it would be hard to find ways to avoid the use of plastic. Wouldn’t it? So you need to find the right identity, the right internal position from where analyze and choose the right decision.
Before you start to find alternatives, ask yourself:
- What are the talents that I have they could be useful to solve this situation?
- What kind of person would solve this problem in an easy way?
- In which situations from my past I had to face similar challenges and how it was my behavior at that time?
When you answer those questions you create a profile of your best self to solve the problem or the challenge you are facing.
B) DEVELOP A GOOD AMOUNT OF POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS.
From the internal position you choose in the previous step, now you’re going to use al your creativity and the Divergent Thinking to create a lot of possible solutions.
- At this moment, don’t filter any possibility.
- When you think you have finished, ask yourself, what else?
- When you finish the “what else?” point, ask yourself again, and what else? (sometimes it’s here where the magic happens).
At the end of this “brainstorming”, you should have a big amount of answers to your question. Maybe a sheet full of words, or a Mind Map with different branches depending on the area where the solution comes. Now is the time to narrow it down till you find “the best one”.
C) NARROW ALL THE POSSIBILITIES DOWN TILL YOU GET THE BEST ONE.
Now you are going to do the first filtering. You are going to discard all the possibilities but three. How? This is my method:
1.- Have a first look and discard the ideas that are clearly worse than others.
Maybe because you found it at the beginning and then other better ideas came out.
2.- Choose “the final three”.
You are going to create a table like this:
Then, you are going to give points to each idea based on:
- Easy to do: 1 is really difficult. 10 is the easiest to do.
- Cheap: 1 is very expensive. 10 is the cheapest (in terms of time and/or money )
- Identity: 1 is very far from who you are and how comfortable you can feel doing it. 10 is exactly as your identity likes to do.
Now you only have to sum every line to order all the ideas. The three with more points are going through the next round!!
3.- Discard one from the final three.
Now you are going to discard one of the last three ideas still in the game by doing this:
- Imagine the best reward each idea could give you if you choose it. How good it is?
- Imagine the worst situation it could happen if you choose that idea. Ask yourself: How likely is that I could still recover from that point?
With those two situations, you discard the less competitive in terms of reward versus the risk of failing.
4.- And the winner is…
From the last two finalists, you are going to choose the winner. And you are going to use an incredible master trick
- From your conscious thoughts in point 3, now you elect one idea. This could be your winner, but not too fast. Now the master trick is coming.
- Now you are going to grab a coin. One finalist idea bet for the head and the other for the tail. Throw the coin and before you wait to come back to your hand ask yourself: What is the result I hope it’d happen? Booom! Now you have your winner (even if it’s not what your logical part was telling you, or even what the coin show you finally).
It would seem that after a lot of logical and sequential work, you have decided everything based in your intuition. So What? Remember: Never play or take decisions against your guts. But, in fact, you came with your logical brain till the last two, so probably both possibilities were acceptable from that perspective. That’s why you need your inner wisdom to help you. Using Mind Meister (Mind Maps) really helps a lot of keeping track of the ideas along the steps.
Now you have the full perspective of The BEE Technique. Now go out to recollect all the flowers of your great ideas, and follow the steps till you get the best honey of your inner wisdom. Decisions are now easier than ever.
DO YOU USE ANY SIMILAR TECHNIQUE TO DEVELOPE DIVERGENT THINKING? DO YOU LIKE THE BEE TECHNIQUE? Drop me a comment or contact us here.
Remember that if you already have that great business idea with you, you can find here the resources you need to make it real. But if you still are finding it, this article could be really useful: How to start your business from scratch
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