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Exelop becomes an EPFL’s teacher !
For sustainable growth, companies need regular innovations in what they make, how they make it and how they serve it. This takes organized intelligence, which requires methods, knowledge and robust tools. TRIZ is the Russian acronym for “Theory of inventive problem solving”. First discovered in the mid forties, it is being use in many companies and laboratories around the world to structure innovation capability and increase creativity. TRIZ & LEAN THINKING is about considering innovation as a process with clear measurable deliverables. Thus avoiding drawbacks of most invention methods used up to now.
The method used by most inventors since the 19th century can be characterized as the blind trial and error method: possible solutions were chosen randomly.
No rules of idea generating were used and, in principle, any idea could be accepted. No criteria were applied either, which forced the inventor into multiple experiments in order to evaluate each possibility. The inventive process was a quid pro quo, reciprocal exchange, where ignorance was being exchanged for time (“the less we know, the longer we search”).
In this context, the chance of catching a good idea is very low, so the main commandment of the inventor reads: “You should be prepared to failures… If you are not prepared to put up with mistakes, you cannot be an innovator.” True, trial and error method implies 99,99% mistakes and no one knows when the bright idea sparks off.
On the other hand, ample evidence such as archeological findings (e.g. similar, often identical, tools discovered all over the world), historical explorations, numerous instances of independent ’parallel’ discoveries and inventions made in different epochs and different countries lead to an obvious conclusion that the development of technical systems, in the same way as of social, scientific, artistic and other systems, follows inherent rules that are independent of human will.
Therefor, one of the leading principle of TRIZ states:
“There exist objective evolution laws for technical systems. These laws can be studied and purposefully applied to inventive problem solving without resorting to a search for variants.”
This allows Systematic Innovation in face of rising customer expectations.
The fundamental idea is that innovation is a process not relying only on individual creativity. Novelty and market success is a construction build on a structured methodology involving people of different background, departments and organizations.
The most innovative companies have clear preferences for a more structured innovation approach. Many leaders are shifting away from total reliance on informal structures.