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Traditionally, the TRIZ contradiction table has been used to compare a desired “improving” feature” against a “gets worse” feature, optimizing the choice of which of the TRIZ 40 principles should be first used in attempting a solution to resolve the contradiction. Despite numerous advances in TRIZ problem solving tools and methodologies, the use of this process in reverse to determine the linkage between observed problem solving behavior and the underlying contradictions remains undeveloped. This type of analysis could be useful in analyzing competitive business strategies or in the analysis of criminal activities. This paper explores the use of the principles in reverse logic and offers a helpful methodology that can facilitate investigative and analytical research across many fields. The researcher or research group first determines the potential observed or hypothesized principle at work in an imminent organizational development, technical innovation, or behavior shift. In the next step, the research determines the underlying contradiction or contradictions which may be resolved by the principle at work. Through investigating the use of principles in reverse, competitor or criminal actions and innovations can be anticipated, analyzed, and pre-empted. Alternatively, the behavior or developments of neutral subjects may be further understood. In addition to expanding the use of TRIZ, the methodology illustrates that the classic 40 Inventive Principles and the Contradiction Matrix still continue to present innovative applications.



ImageJack Hipple is Principal with Innovation-TRIZ, a consultancy focused on breakthrough innovation and problem solving using TRIZ/Inventive Problem Solving and organizational innovation assessments. Jack is the TRIZ instructor for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and does frequent workshops for PDMA chapters, the Altshuller Institute, and the World Future Society. He is a chemical engineering graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and was Director of Discovery/Innovation Research and corporate chemical engineering director for Dow Chemical. He has also served as project/NPD/New Business Development manager for the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, Ansell Edmont, Cabot Corporation, Ideation International, and Idea Connections prior to starting his own innovation and TRIZ consultancy in 2001.

Dr. Stephen Young is a social scientist who currently works for Special Applications Group, LLC, in Tampa, Fl. His previous employers include BAE Systems and MTC Technologies, and he has conducted research both overseas and in the United States focused on cultural change, Diaspora communities, and Islam. Young graduated from Boston University with a doctorate in Cultural Anthropology and Islamic Studies.

Inside TRIZ

Case Studies From A Breakthrough Innovation

Inside TRIZ
Photo of Darrell MannMarch 2012
Darrell Mann
Case Studies From A Breakthrough Innovation
"Starting in August 2004, the Hong Kong government began sponsoring a deployment of TRIZ to a cluster of eight local companies. Over the course of the next 15 months, each company was invited to assemble a team of between 5 and 8 engineers and designers each of whom would be exposed to a series of six three-day TRIZ education and utilization sessions. The aims of the program were for each company to realize new products, patents and tangible financial benefits, and to measure the extent to which TRIZ allowed companies to accelerate their rate of innovation. This paper describes a collection of some of the success stories emerging from the program."

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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