20 - 40 minutes
- Briefly describe a problem for which you need a creative solution
- Select the two key variables that impact this problem
- On a piece of paper, make a two-dimensional matrix, and label one axis with the first variable and the other axis with the second variable
- Along each axis, write all the possible sub-variables for each variable
- Draw lines from each axis so that "squares" are formed, representing the combination of one sub-variable from each axis
- Brainstorm ideas for each square combination, for those squares that seem most promising, or for random squares in order to spur out-of-box solutions
Put extra effort into determining the variables and sub-variables. This will help make this exercise most effective. Share the example below with participants to clarify the exercise.
Perhaps the two most important variables in a new food product would be kinds of food and forms of food. You would list the possibilities for each variable. For each combination, such as "Meat/Drink" or "Grain/Topping," you would then brainstorm specific ideas for a new product.
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