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Determining Motivation And Strategy With The Triz Contradiction Matrix

Dr. Steven Young, Jr.
Special Applications Group
McDill AFD
Tampa, FL

Jack Hipple
Tampa, FL

TRIZ has been used for decades to promote innovation across the spectrum of corporate and scientific interest. From (example) to (example), government, military, and private enterprises have used TRIZ to solve problems and enhance systematic creativity. Consider if a basic tool used by TRIZ could be implemented to understand and even forecast the technical and organizational innovations of others? The principles of strategic foresight mandate that any such opportunity must be seized. The universality and structured application of the TRIZ contradiction tables and principles in reverse offer just such a possibility. Prominent TRIZ authors have cited the usefulness and ready embrace of contradiction table and 40 principles by TRIZ practitioners. Darrel Mann states that the contradiction matrix is “strangely magnetic” (p. 214) to early TRIZ practitioners. This should come as no surprise, for as Terninko, Zusman, and Zlotin write “there are contradictions in all we see and in every thought that we have, but we do not explore them.” (p. 70) Mann states that once one studies the inventive principles, “you will begin to see it everywhere, in business situations, in biology, etc.” (p. 215) Terninko, Zusman and Zlotin add that the “40 principles have a remarkably broad range of application.” (p. 71) While further refinements of the contradiction table exist, the time-tested status of the matrix concept and the 40 inventive principles attest to the pioneering comprehensiveness of Altshuller’s work, in which over 400,000 patents were ultimately evaluated. Thus the principles and contradiction parameters are based on observed, recorded, and analyzed patterns of development and innovation. This face, together with their allure, suggest that the contradiction table and 40 principles serve as a pragmatic “good fit” for understanding the human creativity process in a systematic manner. Crucially, however, the contradiction-resolution use of the parameters to arrive at the principles can be reversed. Reversing the application of the contradiction-resolution table thereby allows us to investigate, anticipate, and –if-necessary- counter the emergent phenomena of development and innovation.


Inside TRIZ

Quantifying the TRIZ Levels of Invention

Inside TRIZ


navneet bhushanQuantifying the TRIZ Levels of Invention

A tool to estimate the strength and life of a Patent

TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) classifies inventions into five novelty levels. At level 1 are slight modifications of the existing systems.  At level 2 are those inventions that resolve a system conflict or contradiction using usually inventive solution or inventive principle used to solve similar problems in other systems.    At level 3, the inventions change one subsystem or resolve the system conflicts in a fundamental way. At level 4, the invention gives birth to new systems using interdisciplinary approaches. The level 5 inventions are closer to a recently discovered scientific phenomenon. See article for a complete discussion.



TRIZ Features

Alexander Selutsky

TRIZ Feature

Alexander Selyutsky - a key figure in the history of TRIZ!

Alexander Selyutsky

Selyutsky Alexander Borisovich was born April 6, 1933 to an intelligent Jewish family residing in Leningrad. During the World War II the plant where his father was working was evacuated to the Urals, and the family (the parents and Alexander) moved to Chelyabinsk. Here, Alexander graduated from high school. He wanted to go to a military school, but didn’t pass vision test and entered the Chelyabinsk Polytechnic Institute. In his first year he was forced to learn boxing (because of frequent anti-Semitic attacks) and became a Komsomol activist.

After graduation, he was sent to Petrozavodsk Onega tractor plant, where he worked as a designer. He continued leading a very active social life, organized and led voluntary militia patrolling the streets of the city because the situation was very criminal. In the search for more satisfying work he became interested in patenting, completed appropriate courses and became a patent agent.

In 1960, Alexander married Dolly Naumovna Audleys, and had a daughter Alla in 1961. The same year G.S Altshuller published a book " “Learn how to invent"[1] . After reading this book in 1965 Selyutsky wrote a letter to Altshuller. This letter started their acquaintance by correspondence. Since then, Alexander became one of the most dedicated Altshuller’s disciples and an active promoter of the emerging new science.

They finally met in 1968 in Dzintary (near Riga), at the seminar organized by the Central Board of VOIR (state leading inventors’ and innovators’ society) that invited Altshuller and several of his associates. It was the first time that Alexander and others got a chance to work under the direct guidance of Altshuller and to learn from him. Later, in 1983, Alexander participated as one of the instructors in the seminar conducted by G.S. Altshuller in Moscow at the Institute for continuous education for chemical and petroleum industries.

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