Cultivate divergent thinking

Article By
James Cumming
James Cumming
Posted On10th December 2020
Posted On10th December 2020
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Our latest featured blog is a series of videos from Gavin Russell, with his tips on how HR practitioners can improve their ability to be innovative. With over 20 years in talent transformation, Gavin has helped businesses ranging from small start-ups to multinational corporations rapidly evolve their approach to talent.

He has led major talent change programmes at Skype, Microsoft, Foxtel and DTZ and is the author of ‘Transformation Timebomb’, a business guidebook for the digital age. He holds certifications in Mastering Business Models, Value Propositions and Business Testing, as well as Design Thinking. 

Gavin has given us his top 5 tips for HR practitioners on improving their ability to be innovative.

Number 1: Cultivate divergent thinking:

Innovation is not some sort of hereditary gift; it’s actually the skilled application of knowledge in new and exciting ways.

Research shows that creative thinking is actually about making new connections between different regions of the brain, creating large scale neural networks.

That means anyone can evolve their creativity by changing their normal routine, stepping outside of their comfort zones and challenging themselves in new ways.

It’s accomplished by cultivating divergent thinking skills and deliberately exposing oneself to new experiences and to new learning.

Divergent thinking is not the same as creativity, it’s the capacity for creativity – what Edward de Bono called ‘lateral thinking’.

We all have the capacity for it – we just have to challenge belief systems built up that stifle it – it’s about breaking habits.

It’s also about exposing yourself to completely new experiences and learning. And I’m not talking about training courses, I’m talking about completely new situations/people/environments that you’re not used to.

The key here is to put yourself in a new space and be open to discovery.

You can find out more about what Gavin does on his website here.

James Cumming is our MD, Interim and Transformation Search specialist. Please get in contact with him directly to discuss any of these topics further.


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