Wednesday, June 28, 2006


TRIZ Journal Experiment

Hello, TRIZ Journal readers, authors, sponsors, and friends! I have announced this blog in the July issue of the TRIZ Journal as an experiment, to see if anyone is interested in TRIZ discussions that are more informal than articles and letters to the editor. Use the "comment" feature to respond, if you like (the blogger system will make you go through a short registration process, if you are not already registered with them.) I will be on vacation on a small boat (snorkeling with wild dolphins in the Bahamas) with no e-mail July 1-9, so your comments won't post to the blog until July 10--please be patient. I promise to post some dolphin pictures to reward the patient when I get back.Go to for recent pictures from the boat that we'll be on.


Innovation Definition

Joyce Wycoff, originator of the Innovation Network, hosted an on-line chat yesterday, on the subject of the definition of innovation. The chatroom was on where you can view the somewhat chaotic discussion, if you are interested. I played the role of provacateur, asking why we need a definition, and several people agreed that a definition is emerging, through the popular press, through the over-use of the term, and, sadly, "innovation" may go through what has happened to "quality" in the last 20 years, as it becomes an advertising claim and a slogan.

Overall definition by this group (all consultants in various creativity/innovation fields) was that innovation occurs when a creative idea is turned into something of value

Innovation = Creativity + Implementation (alternate term was "exploitation")

What happens when something is valuable to me but harmful to someone else? I called that an imperfect implementation, with a contradiction, and therefore a perfect opportunity to apply TRIZ to keep the good but remove the harm.

Comments are welcome!

Friday, June 16, 2006


TRIZ-what is a Solution?

TRIZ beginners frequently expect complete breakthrough solutions from their initial activities, and are disappointed when they only get good ideas. Roni Horowitz's ASIT newsletter had an excellent discussion of ideas, concepts, solutions, etc., so with his permission, I'm reproducing it here. ASIT is a system that diverged from TRIZ about 15 years ago, but has lots of commonality, and Roni's on-line course is a fantastic deal--$29, takes about an hour and a half, and you really learn something!

Dr. Roni Horowitz's ASIT TECHNIQUE FOR A WEEK - Creativity and Inventive Thinking Number 268 June 9, 2006 10,000 subscribers

ASIT does not help you find least not directly. Some people think that by following ASIT step by step, their problem will be solved for them without them having to think. The truth is that ASIT's role is not to provide us with ideas, but with pre-ideas. A pre-idea is a thought that can lead to an idea. An idea can lead to a solution that can eventually lead to an implementation.

Working correctly with ASIT means giving up thinking until arriving at the pre-idea and then starting to think about an idea, a solution, and finally an implementation.

ASIT manages our intellectual resources. In the first problem-solving phase, thinking too much can actually reduce the probability of finding a creative idea, and therefore in this phase ASIT does all the thinking for us. But when a pre-idea is identified, we need to take over and start thinking. It's as if ASIT creates a puzzle for us that we need to solve.

A pre-idea is a short sentence that may be seen as a clue or hint.

A good example for a pre-idea is the famous scene in the Apollo 13 movie in which the NASA officer tells all the technicians, "We need to connect this to that using only these elements."

When using ASIT for problem solving, ASIT plays the part of the NASA officer. It forces us to think within the Closed World of the problem and directs our pre-ideas to find new ways of using existing resources.

An important aspect of pre-ideas is that there is no point in judging them, simply because they are not even ideas. Many creative thinking methods suggest suspension of judgment. However, at some point we do need judgment. ASIT draws a very distinct line between the pre-idea level, where judgment is irrelevant, and the idea and solution level, where
judgment should actually be welcome.

Learn ASIT with the ASIT Premier course:

Learn how to use ASIT to develop exciting new product ideas:

Systematic Inventive Thinking
Get the famous Harvard Business Review article (we will cover the cost!)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


TRIZ missing publicity

Good news--the new Business Week Innovation magazine calls attention to the need for innovation, strategies to develop it, support in the corporate culture, and a lot of strong examples.

Bad news--more than half the companies that they cited are using TRIZ (maybe more, I'm just counting the ones where I know that they have had training and some use of the training) and TRIZ didn't end up in any of the articles. It may be that the reporters were looking for the somewhat glamorous senior executives to name as Innovation Champions and weren't looking for any "how to" stuff.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


TRIZ at Samsung publicity

There have been a lot of papers about the TRIZ education and implementation process at Samsung, where various reports say that as many as 10,000 engineering staff are getting TRIZ training. Here's a new report from the Korean electronics industry press about the after-training support system.

I'm surprised at the heavy emphasis on Russian-based training, because previous publications, and conversations with some of the instructors who have worked there, emphasized that Samsung had put a lot of time and money into developing Korean-oriented training--replacing the Russian folk stories, Russian technology examples, etc., with Korean ones, not just doing translations.

At the European TRIZ Kongress (Zurich, 2003) the Samsung group said that they had modeled their implementation plan after a paper I wrote in 1997, which later became chapter 12 of Simplified TRIZ which emphasizes the need to make decisions that are appropriate to the corporate culture about the use of outside consusltants--fast, more sophisticated results early on-- vs. the development of internal experts--slower, but longer lasting.

Great news--TRIZ was also coupled with Samsung's triumph relative to Sony in the recent publicity in Fortune.

Comments from anyone who knows what is happening with TRIZ at Samsung?

Friday, June 09, 2006


TRIZ and QFD Webinar follow-up

The Project Management Institute audience was very appreciative of the one hour intro to TRIZ. I am still very dissatisfied with the "webinar" format--Webex showing of PowerPoint, plus audio by phone--the speaker gets no active feedback, and it is very hard to invite questions. The complete presentation, with a free, dowloadable "viewer" from Webex, will be posted on by the end of today (at the bottom of the left-hand column). All suggestions welcome, on both the format and the content, and on how to use the format more effectively--I have another similar presentation scheduled in 2 weeks, so I really need your help!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


TRIZ and QFD Webinar

I just "did" a Webex presentation for 90+ members of the Project Management Institute, which I will post here when I get the file. While they were very happy (learned a lot of TRIZ and a little QFD in 50 minutes) I was not--without seeing the audience, I don't know what the level of comprehension is, whether to give a technical explanation or tell a joke, etc. Any suggestions from experienced remote presenters? There is no problem for small audiences, since there is a lot of conversation--I've had very good experiences with groups of 10 or so.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


June 2006 TRIZ Journal

The June 2006 TRIZ Journal was posted yesterday at with a request for readers to answer a survey about possible new features such as a blog, vlog, podcasts, etc., and interest in buying a CD with the first 10 years archives. We have approximately 80,000 readers each month. 72 people answered the questionnaire in the first day. Is this good or bad?


Law of Completeness of Systems

Joe Miller and I are developing a paper for the 2006 ETRIA conference with examples of using the 5 elements of a complete system to help TRIZ beginners get a better understanding of functions, and how that understanding leads to better use of everything from the separation principles to ideality to benchmarking/effects, to patterns of evolution, and even the basic 40 principles.

Any examples that readers want to contribute will be most welcome.

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