Someone or someplace has already solved your problem… insights into TRIZ

…or one very similar, writes Ellen Domb, founding editor of the TRIZ-Journal.  “Creativity is finding that solution and modifying it to fit your circumstances.”

“Don’t accept compromises,” she insists, “remove the source of the problem.”

Ellen and I, as well as many others, shared the podium at Queen’s School of Business 1rst Annual Innovation Summit this past spring.  She presented a workshop on Triz (pronounced Trees) to the assembled group.

About Triz

Contradictions are at the core of this problem solving approach.  In Triz, two kinds of contradictions exist:

  1. Technical ones – as something gets better, something else gets worse – and
  2. Physical ones where one object has contrary requirements to the other.  For example, hot/cold, soft/hard, time consuming/instant and present/absent.

Triz  has a matrix of 40 principles, and all you have to do to use it is find the intersection of the contradiction you are facing to come up with new solutions to modify to your situation.

Triz History

from the website…TRIZ is a problem solving method based on logic and data, not intuition, which accelerates the project team’s ability to solve these problems creatively. TRIZ also provides repeatability, predictability, and reliability due to its structure and algorithmic approach. “TRIZ” is the (Russian) acronym for the “Theory of Inventive Problem Solving.” G.S. Altshuller and his colleagues in the former U.S.S.R. developed the method between 1946 and 1985.

TRIZ is an international science of creativity that relies on the study of the patterns of problems and solutions, not on the spontaneous and intuitive creativity of individuals or groups. More than three million patents have been analyzed to discover the patterns that predict breakthrough solutions to problems.

So, if you don’t want to use brainstorming, you can always use Triz.  Yes, there are many ways to access creativity, no need to limit yourself to only one.

from the website…Projects of all kinds frequently reach a point where all the analysis is done, and the next step is unclear. The project team must be creative, to figure out what to do. Common creativity tools have been limited to brainstorming and related methods, which depend on intuition, fiat and the knowledge of the members of the team. These methods are typically described as psychologically based and having unpredictable and unrepeatable results.

Remember, what works well for some to create new ideas and make new decisions may not work as well for others. Bless us all.