Making Space with TRIZ
Stop Counterproductive Activities & Behaviors to Make Space for Innovation
What is made possible? TRIZ clears space for innovation by inviting creative destruction, letting go of things we know (but rarely admit) limit our success. A bit of heretical thinking is encouraged. What must we stop doing to make progress on our deepest purpose? A seriously fun yet very courageous conversation unfolds. Creative destruction enables renewal. After gallows laughter erupts, local action and innovation rushes in to fill the vacuum. Whoosh.
Below: Keith facilitating creative destruction with a primary care group in Boston (11 minutes)
Structural Elements – Min Specs
- With a sly smile, you are asked: 1. “What can we do to reliably get the worst result imaginable? List your top strategies and behaviors. 2. How does this list compare to what we do now? Be brutally honest. 3. What first steps will help us stop what we know creates terrible results?”
How Space Is Arranged & Materials Needed
- Unlimited # of small groups
- Table or a writing pad to make lists
How Participation Is Distributed
- Everybody at each table individually, then together
- Everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute
How Groups Are Configured
- In groups with 2-8 participants7
- Established teams or mixed groups
Sequence of Steps and Time Allocation
- 3 segments, 10 minutes for each segment.
-  1-2-4-All, What can we do to reliably get the worst result imaginable?
-  1-2-4-All, How does this list compare to what we do now?
-  1-2-4-All, What first steps will help us stop what we know creates terrible results?”
- Make it possible to speak the unspeakable and get skeletons out of the closet
- Make space for innovation
- Lay the ground for creative destruction by doing the hard work in a fun way
- TRIZ may be used before or in place of visioning sessions
- Build trust by acting to remove barriers
Tips and Traps
- Enter into TRIZ with a spirit of serious fun
- Don’t accept innovation ideas: be sure suggestions are about stopping activities or behaviors, not starting new things. It is worth the wait.
- Begin with a VERY unwanted result, quickly confirm your suggestion with the group
- Check in with groups that are laughing hard or look confused
- Take time with similarities to what you are doing now and how this harms you
- Include the people that will be involved in stopping the activities that come out
- Make real decisions about what will be stopped (number your decisions 1,2,3…)
- TRIZ is a Russian acronym for the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving or Teoriya Resheniya Izobreatatelskikh Zadatch
Riffs & Variations
- Go deeper with a second or third round. You can refine your unwanted result.
- Link these results (creative destruction) to a broad review of activities via the Ecocycle
- Share action steps: then go deeper and string together with Troika Consulting, Wise Crowds, or Open Space.
- For reducing harm to patients experiencing safety lapses (e.g. wrong side surgery, patient falls, medication errors, iatrogenic infections) with cross-functional groups. “How can we reliably operate on the wrong side?”
- For helping institutional leaders notice how it is they inadvertently exclude diverse voices. “How can we devise policies that only work for a select few?”
- For IT professionals, “How can we build an IT system that no one will use?”
- For leadership groups, “How can we keep doing the same things with the same people and expect different results?”