Future Proof Your Organization with Lean

by Joe Aherne

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What follows is an excerpt from our upcoming e-book.

We spoke to Bella Engelbach, Author of Creatively Lean: How to Get Out of Your Own Way and Drive Innovation Throughout Your Organization, about creative problem solving and the different types of creative thinking.

Bella, could you please tell us about Lean Thinking and Creative Thinking?

“One type of thinking in creative thinking is divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is what we often think of as creativity. The person who has lots and lots of ideas, they see something, and they think, oh, we could do that differently. We can make it bigger, smaller, what if we turned inside out? That is creative, divergent thinking. And then there is convergent thinking. Convergent thinking is where you take lots of ideas and options and you pick the best one to move forward with.

In Lean we are always working through a Plan – Do – Check – Act cycle and every step in that process has opportunities to think divergently and has opportunities for convergent thinking. I have found that a lot of who get into Lean and Lean thinking are good at convergent thinking. They love the tools that help them pick, they love their Pareto Charts, they love their risk matrices, but they are often not as comfortable in the divergent thinking space. Within the Plan – Do – Check – Act cycle, I think about a little heartbeat; as your heart opens and fills with blood, that is the divergent thinking. And then the other part of the beat is the narrowing, this is the second phase of your heartbeat, and that is the convergent thinking. Divergent thinking and convergent thinking are happening all the time within a Plan – Do – Check – Act learning cycle.”

If your business is facing an unforeseen challenge, contact Leading Edge Group today to help you find creative solutions.


Joe Aherne Photo
Joe Aherne

CEO of Leading Edge Group

Joe qualified as a Certified Public Accountant in 1982. It was a decision that reaped great benefits for Joe, providing him with an international recognized qualification which allowed him to follow in his father and grandfathers’ footsteps who had both worked and lived abroad. Having qualified as a CPA, Joe took up financial positions in the Middle East and UK.

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