How to Generate Alternatives Using Zwicky’s Morphological Box | Red Team Journal

Not every analyst or red teamer is spontaneously creative. For those who occasionally struggle to generate new ideas, Zwicky’s morphological box can help. Even analysts who fancy themselves to be wildly inventive can benefit from the approach.

Zwicky’s technique is simple: (1) decompose a system into its functional subsystems; (2) brainstorm alternatives that achieve each subsystem’s function; and (3) combine the separate alternatives in new ways, subsection by subsection. Some of the combinations will be uninteresting, some will be infeasible, but–with a little imagination and luck–some will be both interesting and feasible.1