This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.
"We dip and sway across complex problems, dancing in and out of the lists and lists and lists we make. Diverging and converging at every stage of the process.
While I might quibble with her comment that a specific "CPS process" is "the basis for almost all other creativity and innovation processes," as an example of common confusion of correllation for cause-and-effect, her description of cycles of convergence and divergence does apply to the TOC Thinking Processes, and probably serves as a common thread -- a meta process -- to any problem solving effort.
We start by converging on a goal, and then solicit divergent symptoms associated with difficulties in achieving it. After translating those symptoms to the form of their underlying conflicts or dilemmas, we converge them into a deep dilemma or core conflict that serves as a root cause perpetuating the diverse symptoms. We then diverge to identify a range of assumptions that perpetuate the root, only to converge on those that seem suspect and subject to invalidation by adding new thinking to the system. That new direction for a solution is then diverged back out to the collection of symtomatic dilemmas as the basis of a coherent strategy for addressing them.
In scutinizing the strategy, we converge on indivdual components to identify the "yes, buts" so that a divergent set of reservations and obstacles can be collected and used to flesh out the strategy (to deal with the reservations) and to develop an implementation plan (to overcome the obstacles).
Interesting in the process that in addition to the divergent/convergent nature, there is also a cycle of moods associated with the process as well (today must be mood day). We go up when a goal is clarified, get bummed out when we realize all the problems we have, get encouraged when we find a root cause and possible solutions, get set back when people start say "yes, but," feel better that we've addressed their concerns and strengthened the solution, run into a seemingly daunting set of obstacles, and come together to move forward with confidence when we realize we don't have to do them all right now, but just need to follow the clearly laid out plan.
In and out, up and down.
Hopefully, not round and round.
posted by Frank - Permanent Link -