We aren't suggesting that we are THE authority. "We" consist of a board of advisors from different companies, industries and disciplines who have the same passion and values in seeing that the next generation does a better job of innovation than we have. The authority that we do exercise, is in terms of awarding certifications to students for demonstrating different levels of understanding/expertise in applying very unique skills that are almost completely absent in academia and in the workplace.
Note: This effort does not compete with, disagree with or focus its attention on the same areas as "Lean Startups", "Design Thinking", etc. This is more focused on requirements, the problem and creating solutions that leapfrog over existing designs. Implementation, marketing, etc. is not our focus. However, bringing together the best, latest from all aspects of innovation is clearly the best way forward.
Claiming to be an authority on something can be arrogant and risky. Our "authority" is actually based on humility, sincerity, commitment, desire to learn and willingness to adapt. This allows for fast advancement of practical, rigorous and successful methods, versus staking a claim that there is only one way to do something.
Establishing A Foundation for Rigorous, Repeatable, Science-Based Innovation
By definition, we are bringing a game-changing competitive advantage:
- "Continuous Improvement" is no longer adequate - even Toyota sees this. Radical innovation or Kakushin is necessary to stay competitive in today's world. From HBR article: "Lessons from Toyota's Long Drive"
- "Systematic Innovation with TRIZ" drives for elegant solutions/products, i.e. ones that are simple, inexpensive, yet without compromise.
- This capability has been proven with 1000's of examples across all industries and disciplines.
- Adoption has been very slow in the U.S. while countries like China, Japan, Israel, Germany and many in the Middle East are more quickly pursuing it.
- Both Intel and Honeywell purposely do not publicize their use of TRIZ, citing that they wish to keep the competitive advantage to themselves.
- TRIZ requires deep thought, deep understanding of causes, the ability/willingness to think abstractly and with analogies, and finally, to set a very high bar for goals. How many people are willing to do this in a culture that promotes quick brainstorming solutions prior to even understanding causes?
Consider "insider trading", i.e. why do people work so hard to get the advantage and keep it from other people, even though it might mean they might go to prison?
In contrast, Systematic Innovation with TRIZ is open to everyone, but most people don't know it exists, what it is, or even care to learn about it. Yet it is proven, dramatic and growing in its use in other parts of the world. Best of all, it is legal!
Trying to change the country is too tough. Taking some advantage of it in Arizona could happen. Narrowing to focus down to one university and a handful of students to begin with, is definitely possible. Not just possible... we WILL do it.
We are fortunate to have long-time practitioner, holder of several patents and author in our state, Larry Ball. Larry recently retired from a 30+ year career within Honeywell. Over the past 20+ years, on his own time, he has developed and constantly improved a free set of e-books: TRIZ Power Tools, available at www.opensourcetriz.com. Myself and several other practitioners have collaborated with Larry, but mostly we continue to learn from him. The virtues of humility, honesty, a genuine desire to learn and willingness of adapt, are key.
We will soon begin holding on-line mutual-learning sessions with like-mined practitioners around the world.
Using our diverse experience, skills and education, we plan to focus our attention on a select few humanitarian, social and environmental issues. This is where we, the adult learners we engage with and the students we work with, come together and really have run, doing amazing things.