What Is Diverse Thinking?

what is diverse thinking?

What Is Diverse Thinking?

We live in a world of incredible complexity. Every day, we face difficult decisions and problems that don’t have obvious solutions. That’s where the power of diverse thinking comes in.

Diverse thinking is the ability to consider multiple perspectives and generate creative solutions. It’s a superpower that can help us tackle even the toughest challenges.

In this post, we’ll dive deep into diverse thinking. We’ll explore what it is, why it matters, and how you can develop this game-changing skill.

What Is Diverse Thinking?

Have you ever faced a tricky problem and felt completely stuck? That’s often because we get trapped in a single way of thinking. Diverse thinking is all about breaking free from that mental prison. It means exploring different angles, perspectives, and approaches.

Instead of zeroing in on one solution, diverse thinkers cast a wide net. They gather insights from various sources and synthesize them in innovative ways. This flexible mindset allows them to generate multiple options and choose the best path forward.

Diverse thinking is the ability to consider multiple perspectives and generate creative solutions to problems. It involves exploring different angles, gathering insights from various sources, and synthesizing them in innovative ways.

Why Diverse Thinking Matters

In our fast-paced, ever-changing world, diverse thinking is more crucial than ever before. Here are some key reasons why this skill is so important:

  1. Solves Complex Problems: The challenges we face today are multi-faceted and interconnected. Diverse thinking equips us to tackle complexity from all angles.
  2. Drives Innovation: By combining different ideas and viewpoints, diverse thinkers can create groundbreaking solutions that move society forward.
  3. Promotes Understanding: When we consider multiple perspectives, we develop greater empathy and understanding for others.
  4. Avoids Blind Spots: Diverse thinking helps us identify and overcome our own biases and blind spots.
  5. Adapts to Change: Those who can think diversely are better able to pivot and thrive amid changing circumstances.

Types of Diverse Thinking

Diverse thinking encompasses a wide range of mental strategies and techniques. Here are some of the most common types:

Visual Thinking

  • Looking at problems through visual representations like diagrams, sketches, and mind maps.
  • Helps make abstract concepts more concrete and approachable.

Lateral Thinking

  • Approaching challenges from unexpected, unconventional angles.
  • Disrupting traditional patterns of thought to spark creativity.

Systems Thinking

  • Considering how different elements influence and interact with each other.
  • Useful for tackling complex, interconnected issues.

Design Thinking

  • An iterative, human-centered approach to problem-solving.
  • Focuses on deep user understanding and rapid prototyping.

Six Thinking Hats

  • A technique that involved looking at a problem through six distinct “thinking lenses.”
  • Separates thinking into different roles like emotion, logic, creativity, etc.

Barriers to Diverse Thinking

While diverse thinking is incredibly valuable, several common obstacles can hold us back:

Cognitive Biases

  • Mental blindspots like confirmation bias cause us to shut out different perspectives.


  • The tendency to conform to the mentality and decisions of a group.
  • Can stifle diversity of thought.

Fear of Failure or Judgment

  • Worries about being wrong or looking foolish prevent us from exploring unorthodox ideas.

Lack of Exposure

  • If we don’t immerse ourselves in different cultures, subjects, and viewpoints, our thinking narrows.

Rushing to Judge

  • Quickly dismissing unfamiliar concepts rather than considering them openly.

The good news? With self-awareness and practice, we can overcome these barriers and become masters of diverse thinking.

How to Develop Diverse Thinking Skills

Like any skill, diverse thinking takes dedication and hard work to improve. Try incorporating these habits:

Seek Out Different Perspectives

  • Read books, watch films, and listen to podcasts from cultures and backgrounds unlike your own.
  • Ask others how they would approach a problem and truly listen with an open mind.

Question Your Assumptions

  • Identify and challenge your deeply held beliefs and biases.
  • Consider where those assumptions came from and if they still serve you.

Practice Creativity Exercises

  • Techniques like random object improv and alternative future scenarios stretch your thinking muscles.

Collaborate with Others

  • Diversity breeds creativity. Work with people from different disciplines and walks of life.
  • Don’t just tolerate differences – celebrate them!

Keep a Diverse Thinking Journal

  • Record new ideas, perspectives, and insights you encounter each day.
  • Review it regularly to reinforce diverse thinking habits.

Embrace Curiosity

  • Ask “What if?” whenever you face obstacles or tough choices.
  • Wondering opens up new possibilities.

Real-World Examples of Diverse Thinking

Still having trouble picturing diverse thinking in action? Here are some powerful real-world examples:

The Uniquitous QR Code The QR code we see everywhere today originated from diverse thinking at an auto company. An employee realized existing barcodes couldn’t meet their data tracking needs. By combining elements from different perspectives, the team invented this revolutionary solution.

Uber’s Dynamic Business Model Uber transformed transportation by combining technologies like GPS, mobile apps, and dynamic pricing. Their diverse thinking spanned computer science, logistics, psychology, and more – resulting in an industry disruption.

The Life-Saving Nasal Oxytocin Device When trying to deliver a medicine that wouldn’t survive the stomach, researchers considered an unusual angle: Could the nose be the solution? This diverse approach led to the nasal oxytocin device that prevents maternal bleeding.

Novel Coral Reef Restoration Environmental scientists realized traditional coral regrowth methods were too slow. So they combined expertise in marine biology, computing, and 3D printing. The result? Rapidly 3D printing coral structures that attract new growth.

From game-changing products to life-saving innovations, diverse thinking drives human progress. It empowers us to tackle the toughest challenges in creative, effective ways.


  • Diverse thinking means exploring multiple angles and perspectives to find innovative solutions.
  • It’s a vital skill for solving complex problems, driving innovation, and adapting to change.
  • Types of diverse thinking include visual, lateral, systems, design, and “six hats” thinking.
  • Cognitive biases, groupthink, fear, and lack of exposure can hinder diverse thinking.
  • Developing the skill requires immersing yourself in new viewpoints, creativity exercises, and curiosity.
  • Diverse thinking has powered countless breakthroughs across fields from technology to healthcare.


Q: Isn’t diverse thinking just about being creative? What’s the difference?

A: Creativity and diverse thinking are related but distinct. Creativity involves generating novel and valuable ideas. Diverse thinking is more about exploring unconventional perspectives and approaches to get to creative solutions. It’s about flexibility of thinking, rather than just idea generation alone.

Q: Do you really need diverse thinking for every problem and decision?

A: No, diverse thinking is most crucial for complex, multifaceted problems without obvious solutions. For straightforward tasks with clear-cut best practices, a more focused approach may be fine. But anytime you face ambiguity or want to innovate, diverse thinking becomes extremely valuable.

Q: How can diverse thinking help teams be more effective?

A: When a team lacks diverse perspectives, they tend to experience groupthink and blind spots. A diversity of backgrounds, expertise, and thinking styles helps teams:

  • Consider more possible solutions
  • Identify potential risks and pitfalls
  • Understand challenges from multiple angles
  • Combine ideas in creative ways
  • Make higher quality decisions overall

Q: Does having diverse teammates automatically lead to diverse thinking?

A: Not necessarily. Even among diverse groups, individuals often still get stuck in their own ingrained patterns of thinking. The real key is fostering an environment where everyone feels encouraged to voice different perspectives candidly. Team members must make an active effort to understand and integrate those diverse viewpoints.

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