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How people can solve their problems efficiently
Every innovation or invention is a result of solving a significant problem. Simple problems can be solved by simple solutions like using a key to open the door. More complicated problems lead to more complex solutions, like developing a rocket to reach space. Convergent vs. Divergent Thinking. The process of solving a problem is connected with two cognitive operations, namely divergent thinking and convergent thinking. The convergent thinking operation includes evaluating ideas and narrowing one’s options. At the same time, the divergent thinking involves looking for ideas and increasing one’s options through elaboration of the problem, and by exploring, and combining potential solutions.
Exploitation vs. Exploration. When you use exploration, it means that you are looking for new ideas both inside and outside the paradigm, but when you use exploitation, it means that you take the idea and try to make it better inside the paradigm. For instance, Edison is normally called an inventor, but indeed, he just took what was already known and refined it until it could solve some known problems. He mostly developed basic discoveries into better solutions for commercialization. At the same time, Albert Einstein tried to think outside the box. The decisions he made was the essence of solving problems in untried and untested ways. So, Thomas Edison borrowed new paradigms discovered by others and made them better. He was some kind of adopter. Albert Einstein questioned the existing Newtonian paradigm and this helped him to create his theory of relativity. Einstein was an innovator. So people around you are either more like Edison or more like Einstein. You may solve your problems by studying and analyzing or by generating new ideas. You can divide all problems into four classes. This will help you to find the best solution. Class 1. The solution of the problem and the problem itself is defined. In such a situation it efficiently to use exploitation activities within the current paradigm. Class 2. The solution is not clear, but the problem is well-defined. You ought to discover new ideas, but also use known knowledge when necessary.
Class 3. The solution is clear but the problem isn’t well-defined. These problems needs from you to consider new applications for existing technologies.
Class 4. These problems are undefined, and their solutions are undefined as well. For example, researchers are always looking for new molecules.
Every innovation or invention is a result of solving a significant problem. Simple problems can be solved by simple solutions like using a key to open the door. More complicated problems lead to more complex solutions, like developing a rocket to reach space. Convergent vs. Divergent Thinking.