Saturday, November 29, 2008


TRIZ Community--Thanks!

The last Thursday in November is the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. Originally a harvest festival with religious roots, thanking God for enough food to get through the winter, it has evolved into a family-oriented celebration of all the things for which we give thanks, usually centered around a holiday meal where each family member makes a specialty dish, and those who don’t cook bring the wine and the flowers. In our family, we go around the table, starting with the youngest child, and each person says what they are thankful for this year—family, good health, new babies, friends, good memories, and one of my nieces has just voted in her first election—she gave thanks for that opportunity, but wouldn’t tell her grandfather who she voted for!

What I didn’t say at the family celebration is that I am also very grateful for my TRIZ family. We have developed into a world-wide TRIZ community that has characteristics of many families—we don’t always agree on everything, but we help each other. Some members observe all the old traditions, some members develop new traditions. Like a family, when someone new joins, we help the new members learn the family traditions, both old and new, then watch as the new member decides which family traditions to observe, or whether to develop new ones. Our family is part-Moroccan, part-French, part-Russian/German, and part-lots of things, so you can imagine the food at this American feast! And cousin Ariel married Sam from Spain, and he was experiencing his first US Thanksgiving, with all the family and a bunch of friends, and as I was watching him try to decide when to ask questions and when to just pretend he knew what was happening, I decided that the analogy with the TRIZ community was very close.

I am very grateful for the openness of my TRIZ colleagues—we may each think our variant on TRIZ is “best” but we don’t keep the variants secret—we publish them, talk about them, and modify them in public. I’m grateful to all the authors who have contributed to the TRIZ Journal (November is our 12th anniversary issue!) and even more grateful to those who have contributed multiple times. We all learn from your contributions, and from the comments and discussions that are ignited by the articles. The commentators and contributors to the discussion forum have expanded our frontiers of discussion—thanks to you all. And a very big thanks to the people who make it all possible—editor Katie Barry and the technical crew at CTQ Media, and all my co-editors, Jim Kowalick 1996-8, Michael Slocum 1998-2008, and Marco A. de Carvalho and Paul Filmore this year.

And the biggest thanks of all to our readers, who I meet in person at the conferences, and meet on-line all the time. I appreciate your words of gratitude for the TRIZ Journal’s help in your learning TRIZ, and I appreciate your comments and criticism so that we can make the TJ better. I appreciate the opportunity to be part of your TRIZ community. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


TRIZ Practioners Exhange

I won't be at this meeting--it is practioners only, no consultants. Larry Ball has a note in this announcement that he hopes no one is offended, and I told him that if the other meetings, with consultants and "vendors" were meeting the needs of the customers, he wouldn't need this meeting, so people should be glad that he's taking the initiative, not offended! I hope that all the travel restrictions this year won't prevent a good launch of a valuable resource.

TRIZ Practitioners Exchange: Practitioners Exchanging Value with other Practitioners
Purpose: This is not another conference. In fact, there will be no abstracts, no papers, no presentations, no sales pitches and no bragging.
This event will focus on the unique needs of industry practitioners. Many of these needs are best be filled by other practitioners. Instead of coming to a conference to hear what others think you need, the attendees will drive the event with their questions. We ask everyone to come prepared to share the questions they need answers to. Specifically consider subjects related to TRIZ deployment, training, theory and how to apply TRIZ to real work problems. The exchange of information will primarily be in the form of informal group discussions. The agenda will be determined by the attendees and will remain fluid & flexible to accommodate the wishes of the group.

Date: January 29-30, 2009

Thursday, January 29: 1pm - 5pm Discussion (afterwards we can arrange to meet for dinner - optional)
Friday, January 30: 8am - 12pm Discussion

Location: Honeywell (1207 Building), 1300 W. Warner Rd, Tempe, AZ

Cost: $0.00

Each attendee will come away with numerous insights that they can apply to their work.
Each attendee will come away with new contacts for continuing dialogue and learning.

A Few Simple Rules for Self-Organization:
This format will not work unless all attendees are ready and willing to offer their unique insights for the benefit of others. All of us have something valuable to share. There are no experts, yet we are all experts. You will get as much as you give.
Avoid any and all forms of defaming or offensive language. This will be a polite group, so act accordingly. If you have an axe to grind, this is not the place.
Don’t waste everyone’s time by volunteering unnecessary details about your company or products.
Remember, no one should be trying to impress anyone with credentials or accomplishments. We are just there to share useful information with each other.
Chip in and help where you can, but avoid taking over. Let everyone participate. Don’t expect perfection—we are “self-organizing” which makes the situation less-than-predictable.
David Troness and Larry Ball (of Honeywell) will facilitate the exchange. This is only to provide for the minimal organization. (There is no assumption of authority or expertise and there is no promise that this will happen again).

Eligibility: We are specifically looking for TRIZ practitioners involved in using TRIZ to design products and services and are responsible for bringing these products and services to market (in other words, people who are using and/or deploying TRIZ within a company, as an employee of that company). Consultants, academics, software vendors or other innovation service providers are specifically asked to not attend. We apologize if this offends anyone, but we are firm on this request and hope that you will not take it personally. If any practitioners offer products or services on the outside of their companies, we ask that these not be mentioned at the exchange. There is no restriction as to nationality or citizenship.

If you would like to attend, you meet the criteria and you are ready to exchange value… please follow this link and apply for membership to this group. If you are accepted as a member, it means you have registered for the exchange.

Neither Honeywell nor its employees are responsible for the content of discussions, including any ITAR or confidentiality violations. All exchanges should be export compliant and presentable to foreign audiences. No mention of military projects should be made. We need to be in full compliance with export restrictions! If there are any questions relating to export compliance, please ask your company export compliance experts. Conducting this exchange at a Honeywell facility should in no way be construed as official recognition, support or endorsement by Honeywell International. Likewise, there is no requirement that people come as representatives of their employer/company.
It is not the intention of this exchange to become a replacement for, or be in competition with, any other conference.
Larry Ball & David TronessHoneywell Aerospace

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