Dynamism in Business
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It's been a while since we discussed the Lines of Evolution within the TRIZ methodology. These are forecasting and planning principles that are derived, as are the inventive prin- ciples in TRIZ, from a broad study of the patent literature. These lines repeat themselves over and over again across many different areas of technology and business.

One of the key lines in this group is DYNAMISM. Parts, systems, people, and organizations become more dynamic and responsive over time. The responsiveness can be to any number of variables. Those of you who have attended our workshops will remember the example of the Coca Cola company attempting to adjust soft drink pricing as a function of temperature during the summer Olympics in Atlanta (at least until the word got out in the Wall Street Journal!).

You no doubt have seen the constant barrage of commercials for Quicken's new mortgage product called the YOURgageTM. It's simply a mortgage contract that allows the borrower to specify the length of the loan anywhere from 8-30 years. After watching this ad a few times I began to ask myself what new law of science was required to "invent" this product? The math required to figure out the various payment schedules can be done on a hand calculator in seconds and the desire for such a product must have been obvious if anyone had bothered to ask. The question used to be, "Do you want a 15 or 30 year mortgage?" Then 10, 20, and 40 year options were added.

Now it's any yearly term. Why not by the month? This simple example illustrates two simple points about these lines of evolution. They are predictive. A variable term mortgage was going to happen sometime. It was just a question of who and when. Second, these prin- ciples (and all the others) can be used to stimulate market research and product innovation. If the folks who write mortgages weren't smart enough to recognize that customers might want more flexibility in their loan options, this principle (used in a new product ideation session) would have suggested flexible mortgage times and then this would have been the basis for marketing research.

Everything you make and use (including your business models) will be become more dynamic and responsive over time. Are you ahead of the curve or behind it? What about your raw material supplier? How could they become more dynamic and responsive and help YOU become more responsive and dynamic? How can YOU help your customers become more dynammic and responsive? (They will, with or without you!)

Next public TRIZ workshop for ASME is in Toronto, Canada April 8-10. It's a great city and it's the first time ASME has offered its courses there.

Take a look at my book on TRIZ: "The Ideal Result: What It Is and How to Achieve It"