Collaboration | The Brainzooming Group - Part 115 – page 115
0

The past several weeks I’ve put out a Thursday or Friday tweet requesting topic suggestions for Brainzooming.

One request last weekend was for a discussion on TRIZ, a topic unfamiliar to me. In a very nice gesture, the original requester, Greg Cimmarrusti from Atlanta, agreed to write a guest post on the topic. Greg’s 20-year background includes project management, systems analysis, implementation, and business development within the high tech, manufacturing, real estate, entertainment, and government sectors. His interests include Mind Mapping, Creative Thinking and Organization Techniques.

Greg’s post is based in part on a presentation at the Atlanta Creativity Exchange by Jack Hipple, principal of Innovation-TRIZ.com and an authority on the subject:

What is TRIZ? TRIZ is the Russian acronym for “Theory of Inventive Problem Solving.” Soviet engineer and researcher Genrich Altshuller and his colleagues developed the methodology in 1946 and for the next 40 years improved its design. TRIZ is the science of the study of the patterns of problems and solutions. Millions of patents were analyzed to discover patterns that led to breakthrough solutions to specific problems.

The three primary research processes to create TRIZ were as follows:

  1. Problems and solutions are repeated across industries and sciences. The classification of the contradictions in each problem predicts the creative solutions to that problem.
  2. Patterns of technical evolution are also repeated across industries and sciences.
  3. Creative innovations use scientific effects outside the field where they were developed.
    TRIZ is based on resolving contradictions and has 40 principles to do so.

Using these known 40 principles (solutions) in new challenges can bring innovative solutions. All innovated creations are purported to be found in the matrix of 40 principles.

One example of TRIZ is the creation of the TWEEL (combination of tire and wheel) and the solution to flat tires. The original tire had an inner tube. Once the inner tube was punctured, the tire was useless until the inner tube was replaced or repaired. This led to the invention of the tubeless tire in use today. Michelin then abstracted this one level up and combined the tire and the wheel. Using a non-inflated tire, the wheel lightly compresses to give a more comfortable ride.

For further information refer to TRIZ40.com, TRIZ-Journal.com, and AITRIZ.org. The matrix of the 40 principles is available for download. There are also general articles on TRIZ and Genrich Altshuller on Wikipedia.com and gizmag.com that provided additional background for this article. — Greg Cimmarrusti

Thanks Greg for sharing TRIZ with us (and based on the fun headline, I may need to hire you to write headlines for Brainzooming)! And as an added treat, here’s a video of Genrich Altshuller teaching TRIZ; you can find more of these on YouTube as well.


TweetIt from HubSpot

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

2

I’m at the Charlotte, NC Business Marketing Association Lunch today speaking on “Taking the NO Out of Business InNOvation.” If you’re on Twitter, check out the hashtag #ncBMAlunch to see if we get some live tweets going!

Talking about the same topic at last Thursday’s KU class prompted a question on how to challenge ideas without being seen as a naysayer. Here are 3 tips to avoid getting labeled as negative:

1. Don’t Telegraph Your Comments

People often begin a challenge by clearly signaling through their body language (confrontational), tone (frustrated or agitated), or words (but, don’t, can’t, instead, etc.) they’re about to challenge something. Here’s an alternative – stop doing those things! Think hopefully about the conversation, looking for points of agreement; this will help modify your body language and tone. Then simply start building on the other person’s idea, even modifying it, without allowing your words and attitude to suggest you disagree.

2. Conceal Your Sources

People are also often very sincere in saying where an idea comes from, even when it really doesn’t matter. This happens frequently with new hires who trot out ideas prefaced by, “Here’s what we did at my old company.” The typical reaction? “If your old company is so great, why aren’t you still there?” In contrast, introduce a potentially challenging idea without any attribution, foregoing even claiming your own ideas. By allowing an idea to be introduced on its own, you can start getting consideration for it without any negative baggage its original source may create.

3. Give Your Ideas Away

What might be viewed as a challenging point of view from you may be seen as completely innocuous when coming from someone else in the group. The key here is to be comfortable with sharing an idea with a receptive party, letting them build and modify the idea, and then confidently in allowing them to introduce the idea if it means a higher likelihood of successful adoption.

Try these three, and you’ll be a lot less likely to be seen as giving NO for an answer.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

4

Speaking and travel are both great sources of inspiration for blog topics. Twitter has become another one as well. This week, we’ll feature posts inspired through each of these sources.

Brainzooming – Being Perceived as a Strategic Leader

Last Thursday I spoke at Max Utsler’s Innovation in Marketing Communications class at Kansas University, debuting the new version of “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” summarized here a number of weeks ago. It seemed very appropriate since the first version of the presentation came from speaking to Max’s class 5 years ago!

One topic we discussed was the idea of very subtle ways to demonstrate a strategic perspective. This includes taking notes and recapping meetings to allow you to shape the conversation as it happens and afterward. One student voiced the concern that taking and typing notes can get you cast in an “administrative” role. It’s a valid concern, yet one that’s easily avoided. Here’s how:

Employ these two approaches and meeting participants will notice the difference. You won’t be mistaken as playing an administrative role. Trust me – I’ve seen it work time after time.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

4

Over the Christmas holiday, several of us (despite being on “vacation”) came into work to pull together a project plan from several disparate sources. It was quickly apparent the three of us, each fairly detail oriented in our own ways, could take all week to get this done.

Wanting to get back home as quickly as possible, I went over to the easel pad in the room and wrote in large letters: BDTP

I explained to the other two guys that the acronym stood for a variation on a statement made by an A.T. Kearny consultant: Better Done Than Perfect.

The phrase is a great reminder at appropriate times that my standards for an end product may be beyond what is called for in the normal course of business. It’s a slightly different twist on the 80-20 rule that helps me stay focused on maximizing my contribution in relevant ways across as many areas as possible (vs. cratering myself with outstanding work in a very narrow area).

Think about your own efforts. If you tend toward perfectionism, consider whether a BDTP attitude might free you to have the greatest overall business impact.

For us, it meant finishing in two days vs. spending the whole week and having our deliverable spill into the new year.

And with that, while this week’s posts on convergent thinking may not have been perfect, they are certainly done. Have a great weekend!

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

3

Here’s a variation on the 4 p.m. List approach with a slightly dishonest implementation method.

I was leading an all-day group session on a contentious topic. We’d spent much time in divergent thinking mode with interesting discussions exploring many points of view. Still, we hadn’t clearly advanced toward a recommendation even though we had to make demonstrable progress by the end of the day.

I broke away during lunch and handed Dawn, the front desk receptionist, my cell phone number, asking her to call it at 1:15 p.m. and not worry about what would be said.

When the phone soon vibrated, I made a point of heading to the back of the room and starting a loud, faux conversation with the project’s sponsor expressing my displeasure with him scheduling time with our CEO at 3:30 p.m. to review our recommendation. Given the timing, we’d have to wrap-up by 3:15 p.m. to get him ready. By the end of the call, I had everybody’s attention (and had Dawn wondering what was going on).

Playing back the other end of the conversation for the group, our challenge was clear – get to agreement within the next couple of hours so we wouldn’t embarrass ourselves by not having our project sponsor ready for the CEO. All of a sudden, it became easier to find points of agreement, determine how we’d solve uncertain areas, and structure what a final report-out included.

As 3:15 approached and the sponsor didn’t show up, group members noticed something wrong. I admitted the meeting was a ruse designed solely to get the group moving. While they were frustrated, they quickly realized the satisfaction of finishing the assignment outweighed two hours of pressure.

If you want to borrow this, know that you can only use it once with the same people, so pull it out when you don’t have other better options to force closure. While enough time has passed to probably try it again, sharing it here means I won’t be able to use it for another year!

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

0

Working to identify criteria describing attractive target customers, our small group had spent several weeks considering, selecting, and tracking down what we thought were the most relevant variables. There was a sense we could spend weeks more refining and tweaking things to get to our list of top prospects. Problem was we didn’t have time to do that.

At that point, the group’s leader made an intriguing suggestion. Our meeting was set to end at 4 o’clock. His direction to the group was to assume we had to report our list of 15 accounts by the end of the meeting. If that were the case he asked us, did we have confidence in our ability to come up with a defensible recommendation. Our answer was a resounding “Yes,” and we generated our list based on the work we’d done to that point.

With our proposed short list, we had an artifact for our effort. In additional analysis we did, we quickly matched up new possibilities against what became known as the “4 p.m. List” to see if they provided significant improvement. In all, the list paved the way for us to wrap up our recommendation in a timely fashion.

We learned from this, and with one of my strategic thinking partners, all we have to say is, “Let’s do a 4 p.m. list,” to know it’s time to force a recommendation assuming we know most of what we’re ever going to know at that point.

So if you’re stuck on a project, turn the clock to 3:50 p.m., and wrap it up!

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading

0

When you’re challenged, who will _______________________?

  • Inspire you?
  • Have a philosophical conversation with you?
  • Give you a pep talk?
  • Guide you through it?
  • Help you be a better person?
  • Tell you things will work out?
  • Challenge you some more?

Do you have answers to all these questions? Are you the answer to some (all) of these questions for the important people in your life? If either answer is “no,” you have some reaching out to do with others!

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Continue Reading