Saturday, July 14, 2012


Korean Global TRIZCON and 3d ICSI Days 2 & 3

Day 2 of the joint conference of the Korea Global TRIZCON and ICSI started with my keynote address, on the application of TRIZ to business, while the definition of business is changing to include all the impacts of business on society. (See ISO 26000 and "triple bottom line" for some orientation on this.)

Darrell Mann addressed the question "Why do so many innovations fail?" For 8 years he has been giving the classical consultant response "It depends" and now says that we know what it depends ON. His definition of innovation: a commercially successful step change advance (nothing to do with optimization.) Details will be published later this year in a series of 5 books on the 5 levels of innovation and the transitions between those levels. Each skill set is a family of S-curves. Failure of innovation is result of mis-match of the skill levels with the type of innovation needed

1. Problem solving skills -- seeding
2. Persistence skills -- championing
3. Silo-breaking skills -- managing
4. Win-win Stakeholder outcome skills -- strategizing
5. Right question skills --venturing

Darrell tantalized the audience with the parallels between innovation success stories (Apple, Gore, etc.) and the Hero's Journey: Joseph Campbell's study of themes of successful literature. Maybe we'll get parallels from Korean and Chinese literature next year.

I missed the panel discussion on how to increase the popularity of the Korean singing group Ka-Pop, which focused on understanding the needs of the customers, and offered considerable challenge to the mostly industrial audience.

Afternoon. case studies from Samsung, Posco, Hyundai,and Mando. But I can't report here, since they made a special request that the audience not take notes or photos. The good news for the TRIZ community is that TRIZ is being used at multiple levels (technical and business, system and component) and is becoming institutionalized. For example, at Samsung SDI, in 2010-11 there were 158 TRIZ projects: 8% cost reduction, 21% productivity improvement, 28% yield improvement, 41% performance improvment. And for those who are looking at CISR (Continuous Improvement of Social Responsibility) Posco and Mando made extensive reference to their social responsibility actions, and Samsung SDI's work on energy systems to improve/replace batteries will make significant contributions to the pollution/alternate energy aspects of social responsibility for many companies.

About 50 hard-working attendees stayed for dinner, then for Darrell's tutorial, and came back Thursday morning for my tutorial and worked through the afternoon at Sergei's tutorial. The instructors and the students had extensive exchange of ideas and experiences at a wide variety of companies.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Global TRIZCON in Korea, July 10-12, 2012 Day 1, Afternoon

Good papers, chaotic organization, with 2 sessions for each of the 2 conferences, in multiple languages, plus judging the applications for the innovation award. As always in these reports, I'll only report on the events that I actually saw, and let readers get other papers from the proceedings.

The afternoon started with a grand cermonial signing of a memorandum of understanding between MATRIZ and KATA. The organizations have collaborated for many years, so this was ceremonial but not a real new beginning.

Very short presentations (sort of like advertisements for "go read the proceedings")

Helena Navas and Virgilio Cruz Machado presented "Modeling Systematic Innovation for Green Supply Chain Management, " a great precuror to my paper tomorrow. Will look forward to lots of progress here by the ETRIA meeting.

Hsin Rau presented his paper (with Daniel Sheu and Eric Tsai) on Integration between cause-effect chain analysis and root contradiction analysis. They have combined work by Mann and Souchkov with their own insights to find ways through the complexity of technical systems to get the problem that will be successfully addressed by TRIZ. An algebra using 4 operators was introduced to be able to calculate the influence on the outcome of varying parameters of the problem. Demonstration of the method for the erosion of blades on a windmill by rain, dust and wind was a good illustration of the benefit of joining the techniques.

Petr Shimukovich presented "New Method for TRIZ Contradictions" with translation help from V. Prushinskiy. He analyzed flaws in Altshuller's technical contradiction method, most of which were the lack of rules for generalizing the contradiction, and the lack of rigor in selecting the system level of the contradiction. HIs analysis eliminated previous definitions of "physical" and "technical" contradictions and used a graphcal language to analyze problems without reference to previous definitions. He has produced an extensive list of options withing 12 aspects of any problem and much more detailed than classical TRIZ in many ways. People interested in more detail can see the Russian book, with appendices in English and German.
Last paper of the session was by Zhao, Cheng, and Guo, "Packaging innovation design of red wine based on TRIZ." They used many of the tools of TRIZ, including classical contradictions and ideality, and some applications of ARIZ. The complex situation --packaging wine bottles in plastic-cushioned cardboard for ease of transportation while controlling cost, flavor, and impact of disposal on the environment--showed considerable insight.

I was able to rush to another session to hear Paul Filmore talk about his exploration of application of TRIZ concepts to solving problems in life, and he included the very useful reminder that some people may be good at generating solutions, but not good at implementation of the solutions, and vice versa. He proposed a translation between human relationship terms and the business matrix terms (developed by D. Mann) and noted that frequently, using TRIZ in a counseling mode, that the definition of the contradiction at the heart of the problem can be very valuable, with or without the use of principles of solution.

Last speaker in this session was Nikolai Shparkovsky (who I first met at ETRIA in Bath in 2000!) speaking about how to teach TRIZ when there is no time to teach TRIZ. He used great good humor as well as detailed TRIZ application. His spiral method provides increasing sophistication to the student as (s)he learns more TRIZ tools at higher levels of sophistication, and has the advantage of being usable at the lowest level by beginners as well.

Then I went to hear a presentation on one of the entries in the competition. The written material was only in Chinese, so I needed to hear the oral presentation. Judging the "Global Competition on Systematic Innovation" was very frustrating.

1. The names and institutions were supplied with the information, so it was possible that bias (for or against) might be part of the judging

2. Many of the projects did not use TRIZ appropriately, but the use of TRIZ was only 30% of the criteria, so a project could get a high score with significant misunderstanding of TRIZ. Many of the projects seemed to start with a random (literally!) choice of a tool of TRIZ, not a logical linking of the tocols to develop the solution. Others started with a solution, then backed into an explanation of the application of TRIZ. This is OK as a teaching technique, but this contest was supposed to be for situation where TRIZ/SI had been used for the actual solution to the problem.

3. Logistics were a nightmare--projects were sent to the judges in a variety of formats (video, powerpoint, word) and languages (mostly English and Chinese) then they were posted at the conference as small powerpoints, and presented orally if the contestant wanted. Most of the judges wanted to attend the full conference and not spend 4 hours listening to the conference presentation. So the projects were judged by written applications, or oral presentation, or some combination, with no consistency.

4. Most of the projects were student projects from a small number of universities. They showed a modest understanding of TRIZ and a modest understanding of marketing and manufacturing. They are not good case studies to use to teach TRIZ,

5. A very large amount of effort by the organizers seems to have been wasted because of the low quality of most of the applications.

6. PERSONAL OPINION: I don't think that this kind of contest, which gives many awards in many categories, is a good way to raise the standards of teaching or practicing TRIZ. There should be no awards if there are no good candidates, or there should be many awards if there are many excellent candidates.

Six Sigma./Lean practioners welcomed the presentation by Nagappan Annamalai at Intel Malaysia, applying TRIZ to simplifying both hardware and the process for burning in circuits, resulting in a 3x improvement in throughput. NA showed a very creative mix of tools from classical lean and from TRIZ to ensure a thorough understanding of the problem before rushing to solutions, which was appreciated by the audience.

Final speaker in this afternoon session was Prof. Dong-Yol Yang from KAIST, who focussed on the application of several models (left-brain/right-brain, Hermann brain dominance, etc.) to ideas about collaboration and teamwork for creative projects. Nonaka's model was new to me--the team progresses from Socialization to Externalization to Combination to Internalization, with leadership of the team progressing to people whose characteristics are best for each stage.

I'm posting this while the organizers are arranging the banquet around us, and a piano and some other instruments have just appeared, so it looks like we'll have entertainment as well as a great variety of Korean, Chinese, and other delicacies.   Pictures?   Readers of the blog tell me if you need pictures--I've had my picture taken dozens of times today with many fans of the TRIZ Journal and the Simplified TRIZ book--gratifying to meet people who appreciate the work.

Monday, July 09, 2012


Global TRIZCON in Korea, July 10-12, 2012 Day 1, Morning

The Korea Academic TRIZ Association and the Society of Systematic Innovation combined forces for the joint conference taking place in Seoul this week, combined with the 2nd Global Systematic Innovation Competition. This is a clearly biased report--I'm keynote speaker at the joint plenary session, tutorial presenter for the joint conference, and a judge for the competition (more on my opinions of competitions, and why I agreed) later.

The conference opened with introductions of the sponsoring organizations, which in Korea constitute a powerful collaboration of Samsung, LG, Posco, and Hyundai, with Yonsei University and Korea Polytechnic University, and others. I'll skip all the ceremonial events--you can see the complete program at Daniel Sheu announced that next year's conference for ICSI and the competition will be in June in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and he issued a call for papers for the new International Journal for Systematic Innovation.

I was very interested in one of the welcoming speakers, Sung-Wook Moon, "Director General for High Potential Enterprise, Ministry of Knowledge Economy." (Actually, the deputy, since the director couldn't come.) The details of the message were somewhat expected--innovation is the key to survival in a tough global world, but having a government minister with responsibility for High Potential Enterprises in a Ministry of Knowledge Economy was remarkable. He addressed Korea's situation in the world economy in terms of the need for innovation, and gave me a "hook" for my keynote talk tomorrow by mentioning the initiatives of the GREEN economy.

Joon-Yang Jung, President of Posco, was enroute to an international steel industry meeting, so he addressed the conference by a recorded message. This was not platitudes--he showed statistics on the increase in company patents and strategic initiatives since they adopted TRIZ and combined it with Value Analysis and Strategic Planning methods. They have created their own databases and resources for employees, and donated resources to train professors at local universities. He provided another set of "hooks" for both my talk and Darrell Mann's by encouraging the TRIZ community to put the business applications of TRIZ on an equal footing with the engineering applications.

He was followed by Wook Sun, Professor at Seoul Nation University, speaking about the Samsung TRIZ experience in both the research center and the advanced electronics divisions.

I missed some of the social exchanges during the break, to be interviewed by Youngsul Kwon, editor of the Korean Economic Daily. If I get a translation I'll post it here.

My great friend (and president of MATRIZ) Sergei Ikovenko presented the first keynote speech, "Using TRIZ for Technology Forecasting." He gave a thorough review of the history of forecasting, and the short-term effectiveness and long-term lack of effectiveness of many methods, because of the failure of the methods to account for jumps between S-curves and points of inflection and other non-linearities within curves.  His examples of the application of TRIZ to the life of a banana was a great illustration of the opportunities to use TRIZ in all kinds of business.

Picture: Daniel Scheu (organizer of the Society of Systematic Innovation among his other roles) and Helena Navas (organizer of the Lisbon meeting of ETRIA, the European TRIZ Association, coming in October) with 2 other members on the tour that was offered to foreign visitors yesterday.

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