How to spur innovation
(A view from the window of a supersystem)

As is known, it is useful to take a look at any problem through the window of a supersystem: how to solve it by effecting changes a few levels above. The problem in question is spurring innovation. TRIZ tries to solve it at the level of individuals: it teaches them problem solving skills and assumes that this is the best way to spur innovation.

However there are many constraints and obstacles to innovation at higher levels. These constrains exists at the team level, at the organizational level, at the society level, at the political level, etc. Moreover, they are primary brakes on innovation, not inaptitude of some individuals to solve problems (see, for instance, "Where have Edisons gone?").

Creating the proper climate of innovation is always more important than teaching dummies how to solve problems. TRIZ does not make difference at any corporation because of this very reason. It tries to improve individuals without fostering the climate of innovation. No wonder that it fails.

However, there are no many publications on how to spur innovation by bringing changes to a super-system, e.g. by changing laws, for instance. This issue of the journal reprints one of such rare proposals. It is dated back to the times of Perestroika in the former Soviet and was applicable only to it. Nevertheless, it is interesting as a ground breaking example. This issue reprints it under the title of "My contribution to Perestroika".