Most companies and organizations are rediscovering the value and importance of growth and innovation as part of their long-term strategy for improving profitability. The historically used tools of trial and error, accidental discoveries, and psychological aproaches cannot achieve breakthrough concepts, product designs, and manufacturing processes at the rate required in today's fast paced globally competitive environment. It is simply not possible for any one person or organization to be aware of all the possible ways of solving problems and generating creative, breakthroughs. The combination of TRIZ with additional outside expertise uses not only the collective brains of all of the worlds' past inventors, but also the current brains of experts outside your organization. This kind of process produces truly breakthrough results in an amazingly short period of time.
To sustain innovation inside an organization, it must be allowed to flourish at ALL times, not just when a particular product or design is needed, or when a particularly challenging external force comes to bear. Innovation must be a constantly nourished and supported skill and activity. Managerial credibility is lost very quickly when this kind of critical skill is rewarded and then punished within short time cycles. Innovation audits, as well as the KAI® and Myers Briggs, BCPI, and Insights assessment tools clearly define, through an employee confidential questionnaire, the innovation climate within your organization. This will tell you clearly what the challenge is prior to investing a large sum of money in programs or training. We led a pioneering study of past innovation champions from major corporations and have made major presentations at national conferences. The slides are at this web site in the Presentations section.
This study was published by Chemical Innovation magazine in November, 2001 (reprints available by contacting Jack Hipple) as well as in Leaders in Action (April 2002), a publication of the Center for Creative Leadership, and most recently in Research-Technology Management (May/June,2003)
These findings, as well as our own personal experiences in industry, have allowed us to develop a complete Innovation Audit Assessment Tool which can help you determine the existing climate in your organization vs. your expectations of change.
With the advent of new tools such as TRIZ, an organization can also imbed within its engineers, scientists, and managers a skill set that will withstand short-term pressures. This tool is particularly effective at bringing problem definition, which is usually sorely lacking, up-front into the problem solving process. It is not unusual for a TRIZ problem-solving group to completely rethink their problem solving activities in the early stages of a TRIZ problem solving process. There is absolutely no other tool that forces problem owners to define their problem so completely and thoroughly.
As leaders in identifying innovative new uses for TRIZ, we are now working with organizations to apply the TRIZ problem solving principles and software to intellectual property protection, ergonomic design contradictions, as well as management and organizational issues.