The double circle problem would require a creative divergent thinking approach. This is a type of thinking that results in the production of several ideas from one single entity. All the ideas may not be workable, but from amongst them, one can find a new and refreshing solution. It requires ‘thinking outside the box’ since the conventional route will not yield desired results.
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In the case of the double-circle problem, one is required to draw two parallel circles- one small one inside a large one- without lifting the writing instrument.
Clearly, this is not a problem that one can solve using conventional methods of thinking. One needs to consider all possible ways of handling the problem. The instructions state that one cannot lift one’s pen, but they do not state that one cannot rearrange one’s paper. Through creative thinking, one immediately realizes that the problem is easily solvable when one changes the paper.
Therefore, one can start by drawing the inner circle; that is, start with a line from one point and then go round and back to the starting point. After drawing this first inner circle, one should keep the writing instrument (pen) at the starting point and then use the other hand to fold the paper on which one is drawing the diagram. It should be noted that for this method to work, one should draw the circles near any of the four corners of the paper.
After folding one corner of the paper into a triangular shape, the tip of the fold should meet the pen or drawing instrument. One can then move the pen outward through the folded bit and when one gets to the unfolded part, one can draw a bigger circle around the small one. However, this will leave some space, in the outer circle, equal to the folded bit. To overcome this problem, one should unfold the corner (while still keeping the pen on the paper) and then complete the outer circle.
Types of organizational problems that require this type of thinking
Organizations often deal with scenarios where they have to solve difficult problems even after exhausting all logical avenues. In such scenarios, they will need to use creative thinking to get out of such dilemmas.
For instance when a battery manufacturing company has made and sold a whole line of batteries that leak, it could face the possibility of loosing all its clients owing to this error. However, if members of the firm think of creative ways to correct the problems, then they can turn that disastrous event into an insignificant one.
They may think about changing the name of the battery and recalling all the faulty ones. Besides this, they can implement a new quality system and then remarket the new ones as fault proof.
Additionally, organizations require creative thinking when introducing new products in the market or when starting up. Entrepreneurs use divergent thinking methods in order to determine new ways of generating value from available resources.
One person may look at stockings and think of nothing new about them; however, the entrepreneur may create something significantly different by introducing stockings with an additional leg that can be folded and tucked between the other two legs when one is wearing them.
The third, folded one can be exchanged for a torn one when the situation arises. Such a person has introduced something significantly different, and he or she can only do that when using divergent creative thinking.
In addition to solving difficult organizational problems and starting new businesses, companies can also use creative thinking when introducing new products. IBM introduced its 1981 PC to the market by letting its engineers create a completely different computer using a series of start up materials. As a result, this model revolutionized the computer industry and made the PC a mass product.