Here is an interesting idea I dreamed up on the plane the other day.  I was looking for inspiration for solutions to some work problems and my mind wondered to biological systems. I thought ” what does this problem remind me of in anatomy. That gave me the Idea of looking at biological systems to solve business problems and the other way around. I called it Life Analogy Problem Solutions (LAPS). So here was the first brainstorm of associations.

Biological system vs Non biological problem
Cardiovascular                                              Traffic queues at junctions
Dementia/ Neurology                                 Information Management/ flow
Respiration/ Asthma                                   Global warming
Biochemistry/Enzymes                              Construction
Fatigue/ Metabolism                                   Energy conservation
Renal/ Hepatic                                               Waste management
Cell differentiation                                        Education/ learning
Haemostasis                                                    Finance

Its interesting that thinking of these unrelated concepts creates mental pictures and words that can be used to tell better stories about solutions that people can understand easily.  I think it also may be a springboard to more open thinking about problems and solutions. I know that there have been quite a few of these analogies made before and in some fiance language we talk about hemorrhaging cash- is that a coincidence. The metaphor works because of the mental picture. Keep the story going and you have the solution to the problem as well.  Perhaps we need to look in the health care world at other stories being told in other industries to see if the metaphors and premise transfer?

Here is an example in pictures
That old tree (January 8, 2006)

Source Flikr http://www.flickr.com/photos/steffe/84010716/

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Source  http://www.flickr.com/photos/7438870@N04/1467351977/

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Source:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/ojw/385459015/