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  • Daniel Ling

What's the Power of Creative Matrix that Prompt- P&G, Apple and Google- to Use It?

Creative Matrix is a tool or a framework that helps individuals and teams in generating new and innovative ideas during the Ideation Phase. The framework provides a structured approach to the creative thinking process and helps overcome common obstacles that often stifle creativity.

Many big companies with the intention to drive Design Thinking and Innovation- use the Creative Matrix as a tool to drive innovation and creativity. Some real-life examples of companies that use the Creative Matrix include:

1. Procter & Gamble: The consumer goods giant has been using the Creative Matrix for years as a tool for its Innovation Process. It has helped the company generate new ideas and bring successful new products such as the Tide Pods or Crest Whitestrips to the commercial market.

2. Google: The tech giant uses a variant of Design Thinking called the "Google Design Sprint" to drive innovation and creativity in its design and development process. Creative Matrix is huge tool to bring new and innovative digital products to market quickly within a time-box situation.

3. Apple: Apple is known for its innovative products and cutting-edge technology, and it's no secret that the company places a high value on creativity and innovation. Apple uses a variety of tools and methods, including the Creative Matrix, to drive its innovation efforts.

Here's the overall structure of Creative Matrix:

Within this framework, you have both the horizontal and vertical axis. The horizontal axis consist of the HMW (How Might We) statements or basically problem statements where ideas need to be brainstormed or created. The vertical axis consist of enablers- which will guide you to structure and create ideas according to the idea prompts.

For example, in the concept of A-E-I-O-U to tackle HMW motivate Darryl to track his fitness:

Activity (Programs or Policies): Darryl can receive monetary incentives through tracking fitness program.

Environment (Physical Space / Infrastructure): Darryl can put up motivational posters and fitness quotes around his living area.

Interaction (Digital / Technology): Darryl can access a fitness tracker software that monitor and tracks his fitness.

Object (Product Design): Darryl can use a smart watch device to track his fitness real-time with easy analytics.

User (People / Service Design): Darryl can make use of a buddy system to peer-motivate him to get better in fitness.

The enablers listed are not exhaustive. You can make use of the "wildcard" to think about any other enablers that will aid you in your brainstorming.

Example of the power of Creative Matrix- Tide Pods is result of P&G innovation

Here's a rough guide on how to use the Creative Matrix:

1. Define your HMW Statement or Problem: Start by clearly defining the problem or challenge you are trying to solve. This will help you focus your efforts and ensure that your creative thinking is directed towards finding a solution.

2. Gather Information: Conduct research and gather information related to the problem. This will provide you with a deeper understanding of the problem and help you identify potential opportunities.

3. Brainstorm: This is the creative part where you allow your mind to run free and generate as many ideas as possible using the enablers. Encourage wild and unconventional thinking at this stage.

4. Evaluate and Refine: After generating a list of ideas, evaluate each one to determine their feasibility and potential impact. Refine and refine the best ideas and develop a plan to implement them.

5. Implement: Put your ideas into action and see how they perform. This will provide you with valuable feedback that you can use to make improvements and further refine your approach.

Using the Creative Matrix can help you structure your thinking, overcome creative roadblocks, and turn innovative ideas into action.

Last Words

I will be adding more articles on Design Thinking throughout the year. Articles of Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test will be added periodically to give my readers a broader insights to Design Thinking.

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About the Author

Daniel Ling has more than 10 years of Design Thinking experience and has moulded himself to be a “designer in a business suit”- strong in the Design Thinking process and yet relevant to the financial and business industry- across OCBC, DBS, NTUC Income and Lazada. He trained close to 500 professionals in the area of Design Thinking, Innovation and Strategy. He authored the Complete Design Thinking Guide for Successful Professionals and the book is sold worldwide via Amazon, iTunes, Ingram, Lulu and Kinokuniya.

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