Creative activities to promote innovation (Morphological Analysis)

 Morphological Analysis

Continuing with these series of articles that I have dedicated to different creativity techniques that companies can use in order to generate innovation, I will talk about a technique named morphological analysis. Before I continue, I invite you to read the introduction where I explain the difference between innovation and creativity and also the first tool I presented: Brainstorming.

This tool was created by the astronomer Fritz Zwicky on the middle 1900s and it can be used to create many ideas in a short period of time. This technique requires 4 phases, that I will explain with a simple example.

The first phase requires a definition of the problem or the goal of the exercise. Let’s analyze the next case. A company has a very important product for their business that is a cream for muscular pain, which is well-known by elder people, but not young ones. The problem is that year after year sales have decrease, because they don’t have new buyers. The company wants to reach new markets.

The second phase of the technique is defining the problem parameters, or in other words the most relevant variables. Take into account that the idea is not generating a very extensive number of variables, because it becomes unmanageable. Just take the most important ones. For the exercise I will only define two variables: age and cause of the pain.

The third phase is defining the values of each parameter. On the example we can establish them in the next way. Age: 0-10 years, 10-20 years, 20-40 years and 40-60 years and cause of the pain: common accident, disease and extreme activity accident.

The last phase consists in evaluating the different variables’ values combinations. Depending on the matrix complexity you can decide if you will evaluate randomly some combinations or all of them. On the example I presented, we only have 12 combinations, which it makes it easy to evaluate all of them and decide which ones are the best.

On my next post a new creativity tool!


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