12 December 2005

An Evening Crossing Signals on Innovation

Last Wednesday evening, I attended a knowledge sharing session hosted by Crossing Signals at Kasteel Wittenburg.
Valeri Rudy Matthijs Ton @ Crossing Signals Mtg.jpg
Rudy Hoeboer is championing collaboration at the business level to stimulate innovative thinking and practices between people at work. He and Mathijs van Zutphen opened the evening with a discussion about the philosphy behind collaboration and innovation. They then introduced Valeri Souchkov from ICG Training & Consulting.

Valeri presented us with the background to TRIZ, Systematic Innovation Techniques. We even got to play with a "contradiction". I love using this word instead of problem. If I walked away with anything from that evening, it is using this word "contradiction", perhaps because it's a word with perspective, whereas "problem" has such a judgment attached to its meaning. Valeri asked us to choose a positive and a negative contradiction so that he could demonstrate how TRIZ works.

Ton presented a wonderful set: negative = too many resources and time to bring in business; positive = smaller projects much better aligned with strengths and desires to generate more satisfaction.

Valeri used his matrix to identify which principles we should apply. There are 5 levels of innovation, and most companies remain working at level one. Even the most brilliant and innovative rarely generate new thinking or ideas at a level higher than 3. Level 5 requires changes principles. The one principle that stimulated our thinking the most was "holes" - look for the holes, spaces, gaps, missing pieces.

I am interested in playing around a bit more with Valeri on developing a visual software for clarifying the meaning of concepts that take on different meaning in different cultures. We'll see what happens.

Thanks, Rudy, for the invitation...and apologies for the incredible mispelling of your last name! (I'm still giggling...)

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