Saturday, September 09, 2006


TRIZ, Innovation, and CEO's observations

IBM advertised in the Harvard Business Review a free download of their 64 page report on their survey of 765 CEO’s on the subject of innovation. See if you want the whole thing. I don’t think they’ll mind if I quote their conclusions:

Based on these CEOs’ collective insights, we offer several considerations that can help organizations sharpen their own innovation agendas:
• Think broadly, act personally and manage the innovation mix – Create and manage a broad mix of innovation that emphasizes business model change.
• Make your business model deeply different – Find ways to substantially change how you add value in your current industry or in another.
• Ignite innovation through business and technology integration – Use technology as an innovation catalyst by combining it with business and market insights.
• Defy collaboration limits – Collaborate on a massive, geography-defying scale to open a world of possibilities.
• Force an outside look...every time – Push the organization to work with outsiders more, making it first systematic and, then, part of your culture.

From a purely TRIZ point of view, the good news is that TRIZ analysis and insights can make dramatic contributions to the second and third points—differentiating the business model and integrating business and technology and innovation in both areas. And my observation is that practice using TRIZ will make the people and the organization more aggressive and more facile in the fourth area, defying the limits in all areas, including any self-imposed limits on collaboration—with customers, suppliers, and competitors.

But, this is a commercial report, and IBM is of course trying to sell its own innovation-enhancing consulting services, so any TRIZ influence (we know that there is some, since many people from its consulting branch have been in my TRIZ training sessions over the years, and other TRIZ consultants have had the same kind of experience) is deeply buried in the attitude-based methods that they are promoting.

Back to good news—any comments or constructive ideas on how the rest of us could use this report are welcome.

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