Sunday, May 14, 2006

Notes from Ideation International: Innovative Problem Solving

I spent a fascinating weekend with leaders from Ideation International, who have created a set of tools for managing the future.

The fundamental principal behind Ideation International's approach is that systems evolve in a predictable way. The Russian scientist, Genrich Altshuller, along with his students Boris Zlotin and Alla Zusman, documented consistent patterns of evolution after reviewing 2 million patents.

The Ideation International tool for managing the short-term future is "Inventive Problem Solving,"
a method for eliminating technological roadblocks related to the development and use of products and processes. Applicable to all engineering disciplines, IPS can be used to solve problems related to design, research and development, manufacturing, safety, reliability, and quality assurance.
Those who have used the Inventive Problem Solving tool are amazed at its ability to lead users to break through solutions to particularly thorny problems that were unsolvable with other methods by looking for analogies in the ways similar problems have been solved by others in the past.

The Ideation International process for managing the future is based on TRIZ, an acronym for the Russian words for "Theory of the Solution of Inventive Problems." Do you have experience with TRIZ or Ideation International?

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