TRIZ Lived, TRIZ Lives, TRIZ Will Live !

A group of software engineers has been shown presentations from an innnovation conference. It was not a TRIZ conference but an executives' innovation conference. In other words, executives of various companies got together to listen about innovation. The presenters were highly skilled lecturers bordering on actors. And the conference on the whole resembled entertainment, a very specific though. Instead of the profane language of the common comedians, the presenters used the coarse language of their own such as "disruptive innovation" etc which made the presentations even more entertaining.

Somebody recorded them and decided to show to the rank and file software engineers at a high tech company during their weekly departmental meetings. Also probably for their entertainment and making their daily routine less boring. The engineers that did not raise their heads above the daily coding, debugging, and testing watched the presentations with their eyes shining. To them they seemed to be glimpses from another world, where job is fun and people make living by coaching others how to be innovative.

One presentation impressed most. It tried to instill in the minds of executives the importance of "disruptive innovation" in spite of resistance to it. As an example the presenter chose ... Alexander the Great. The latter, allegedly, introduced a 7 m long pike called Sarissa into his army. There was resistance to it: it was difficult to manage, it could not be held by one hand, both arms had to be employed, which left no room for carrying a shield. Besides, maneuverability of phalanx suffered, etc. But Alexander insisted because such a pike would eliminate close combat and high casualties resulted from it, provided warriors were well trained to use the pike. The forest of long pikes raised at a certain angle and in a certain pattern by the rear rows of the phalanx could also better protect entire phalanx against incoming arrows than phalangites' shields. That was an example of disruptive innovation. Nobody used spears/pikes longer than 3m before.

So, Alexander introduced systematic drills to train soldiers to use these spears. And this made his army invincible. When Persians realized the cause of his successes, they tried to employ long pikes too. But their soldiers did not have years of training to use them and were not accustomed to their use, which rendered long spears in Persians' hands ineffective.

I guess, the world would have been different today, had Persians' intelligence done a better job. They overlooked the new weapons of "mass empire destruction" in Greeks' arsenal and did not prepare to it accordingly. No commission of inquiry was set up, however.

The presentation ended and the programmers went back to their dull duties. The entertainment at the work place was very refreshing. And I have thought that if such a cheap talk about Alexander's disruptive innovation makes people's eyes shine and works as a doping, then no wonder that TRIZ triumphantly spreads around the globe. As engineers oriented entertainment, it is much better.

People need profession oriented entertainment. Not only general comedians like Jay Leno, who is for everyone, but also Darrell Mann who is for engineers only. And as long as the need in such entertainment exists TRIZ will not die. And for those who got bored with TRIZ, there is Anti TRIZ-journal !