Sixty people from Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, and
the US gathered at the Hyatt in Merida,
Yu, Mexico for the 8th Iberoamerican Innovation Congress, Nov.
20-22, 2013. Many university students participated in the tutorial sessions on
the preceding days, then joined the main congress. We were welcomed by the government economic
development officials of the state of Yucatan (and 3 video photographers AND 5
still photographers!) and the city of
Merida. AMETRIZ President Humberto
Aguayo-Tellez declared the session open, and the director of economic
development and the secretary of commerce gave short addresses on the importance
of promotion of innovation. (My loose
translation of the topic, and the contents.)
The opening paper was delivered by Noel Leon, “How can we integrate
TRIZ/QFD with new methods of innovation?
Blue Ocean Strategy, Design Thinking, Data Mining, Social Networks.” Prof. Leon started with a review of invention
and innovation with and without TRIZ, emphasizing the spiral nature of
progress, and the need for continual attention to the changing needs of the
customers and the need for business decisions.
Blue Ocean strategy is now being taught in 1400 universities
in 99 countries as a way of finding the business strategies for potential
success amid all the possible improvements/innovations in any competitive situation. The classical TRIZ technical contradictions
(trade-offs) are very similar to the Blue Ocean contradictions, and both
methods agree that resolving a contradiction is the heart of breakthrough.
“Design thinking” is
now used outside the design discipline and includes many of the aspects of
QFD—understanding the customer, measuring the factors that are important to the
customer, and in general making the human interaction the focus of the
innovation process. Both strategic and
tactical levels of design thinking are
in use. Ideality, with emphasis on
performing the function without harm, is very useful in achieving the goals of
the design thinking approach, and the Ideal Final Result formulation of
solution helps the designer focus on the
functionality of the system. Another aspect
of design thinking is usually called “empathy” and encompasses many aspects of
understanding the customer from many different points of view. The experimentation and collaboration
phases of design thinking likewise are compatible with the TRIZ methods,
particularly the “effects” search systems, and the learning phase of design
thinking echoes the feedback and improvement phases of all systems, from
Deming’s Plan-Do-Study-Act to ARIZ’s stage 9 where each problem/solution
is examined to see how the knowledge gained can improve the whole system.
Prof. Leon introduce the tool Quantum Leap Buzz, the leading provider of
social media search, and a meta-tool for understanding the popularity of search
terms. It is becoming the leading
indicator of unmet customer needs, and therefore the predictor of plausible business directions. It is a front end for TRIZ and Design
Thinking, and input to the Blue Ocean Strategy on the relative reputation of
Conference organizer Guillermo Cortes Robles was the next
speaker, emphasizing the social nature of innovation, in the motivation and
collaboration methods of the innovators.
He challenged the group to consider how such a social interaction can
have the speed of dynamic realignment required in today’s business world. A partial answer is the evolution from
“world wide web” to the semantic web that permeates all activity and
facilitates access to massive databases whenever and wherever needed. His demonstration of the linkages and
networks of relationships between the data
in systems were impressive, and graphically emphasized the need for
integrated understanding, rather than point-by point accumulation of
information. His examples from Amazon,
Netflix, EBay, etc., made the theory come alive for the audience. Extensive discussion (in 2 languages!)
followed the 2 presentations.
After the break I led a workshop on the use of the 5- and
6-element versions of the method of complete (technical) system analysis—I’m
trying to get the word “technical” dropped, since all systems perform functions, so the distinction between
technical and “non-technical” systems disappears.
---------------Blog will continue after lunch (hey, this is a semi-live report...)