So far, we've uncovered the essence of creative problem solving, the structured pathways to help us think of problems differently. Today we'll continue with two more techniques that fuel innovation and ingenuity.
First, the morphological approach. This approach offers a unique lens to solve problems creatively. Imagine stepping into the shoes of a chef or home cook, armed with only five ingredients to conjure an array of dishes. Let's use this culinary analogy to guide us to understand the core essence of solving problems morphologically. A morphological approach to think of the variety of dishes we can make with the 5 ingredients, let's examine multiple dimensions of a problem. A dish can vary in function, physical state, and flavor, and so on. By combining these dimensions, we can come up with a variation of ideas and hence dishes!
Morphological approach to creative problem solving encourages thinking beyond the obvious by systematically exploring a multidimensional problem space and recombining elements in ways that spark new ideas and solutions.The chef or home cook identifies several key dimensions to play with: texture, flavors, and physical states. These dimensions represent different aspects of the dishes that can be varied.
Let's attempt to use morphological approach to look at a logistical challenge of tansporting goods. From modes of transport to packaging, energy sources, tracking, and route optimization, diverse dimensions come into play. A striking example comes from the manufacturers in Indonesia, who discovered an optimized route through Singapore's ports to transport their goods seamlessly from East to West instead of by land routes. The morphological approach encourages us to view problems from multifaceted angles, forging innovative pathways.
The last but not least — Design Thinking. Focused on user-centric solutions, it diverges from traditional methods by homing in on the solution rather than the problem itself. Picture the paved walkways that languish, ignored by pedestrians opting for alternate routes, trampling the grass. This phenomenon reflects the neglect of design thinking. The fate of malls that relied solely on renowned brands and square footage, oblivious to changing consumer behaviors is another example of not keeping an eye on user-centric solutions. Companies can also look at sales performance differently with design thinking; for example by addressing clients' pain points to improve sales. One of the barriers for many SMEs is actually cash flow, by reviewing how minimum order quantities (MOQs) can be applied might help boost sales orders! .
As we navigate through the corridors of innovative problem-solving techniques, let's set our sights on the horizon of the mind's terrain. The forthcoming week I will look into the pivotal role of mindset in problem-solving. Our mindset guides us through challenges, champions the power of iteration, and propels us toward solutions. Stay tuned as we complet the mosaic of problem-solving mastery.