Table of Contents


Table of Contents

Half title page

Title page

Copyright page

About the Author




Part One: TRIZ Logic and the Tools for Innovation and Clarity of Thought

1 TRIZ Tools for Creativity and Clever Solutions

What is TRIZ?

What does TRIZ Offer?

How TRIZ Works

TRIZ Creativity Tools

TRIZ for Everyone – No Matter What Your Creativity

2 TRIZ Knowledge Revolution to Access All the World’s Known Solutions

Problem Solving – Resolving Defined Problems

Problems Vary – Some Are Easy, Some Are Difficult

How to Access Our Own and the World’s Knowledge

Conclusion: TRIZ Access to the World’s Knowledge

3 Fundamentals of TRIZ Problem Solving

What is Problem Solving?

TRIZ Conceptual Solutions

Logic of TRIZ Problem Solving

TRIZ Basic logic – Improving Ideality

Avoiding Premature Solutions – Ask WHY?

Stakeholder Needs and the Ideal

Problem Solving at the Right Price with TRIZ – Use Trimming and Resources

4 Thinking in Time and Scale

Talented Thinking

Inventive Engineers – Thinking in Time and Scale for System Context and All Requirements

Why Use Time and Scale?

Time and Scale Can Be Used in at Least Four Ways

Unidentified Manufacturing Problem – Scrap Rate Rises Dramatically

Use 9-Boxes to Understand History/Context of a Problem

Conclusion: TRIZ Aim is to Increase Ideality and Subdue Complexity

Case Study: Applying Time and Scale to Nuclear Decommissioning Research Sites Restoration Limited – an Estimating Workshop

Part Two: The Contradiction Toolkit

5 Uncovering and Solving Contradictions

Contradictions – Solve or Compromise?

What is a Contradiction?

40 Inventive Principles

What is a Contradiction?

40 Principles Solve All Contradictions

Contradiction Matrix

The 39 Technical Parameters

Using the Matrix

Solving Physical Contradictions

Physical Contradiction Examples

Finding Physical Contradictions

Physical or Technical Contradiction

Summary of Contradictions

Case Study: The Large and the Small of the Measurement of Acoustic Emissions in a Flying Aircraft Wing

Problem: The Measurement of Acoustic Emissions in a Flying Aircraft Wing

Appendix 5.1 40 Principles: Theory of Inventive Problem Solving

1 Segmentation

2 Taking Out or Extraction

3 Local Quality

4 Asymmetry

5 Merging/Consolidation

6 Universality

7 Nested Doll

8 Anti-weight

9 Prior Counteraction

10 Prior Action

11 Cushion in Advance

12 Equipotentiality

13 The Other Way Around

14 Spheroidality Curvature

15 Dynamics

16 Partial or Excessive Actions

17 Another Dimension

18 Mechanical Vibration

19 Periodic Action

20 Continuity of Useful Action

21 Rushing Through

22 Blessing in Disguise

23 Feedback

24 Intermediary/Mediator

25 Self-Service

26 Copying

27 Cheap Short-Living Objects

28 Replace Mechanical System

29 Pneumatics and Hydraulics

30 Flexible Shells & Thin Films

31 Porous Materials

32 Colour Changes

33 Homogeneity

34 Discarding and Recovering

35 Parameter Changes

36 Phase Transitions

37 Thermal Expansion

38 Accelerated Oxidation

39 Inert Atmosphere

40 Composite Materials

Part Three: Fast Thinking with the TRIZ Ideal Outcome

6 The Ideal Solves the Problem

Simple Steps to Fast Resourceful Systematic Problem Solving

System We Want – the Acceptable Ideality

Ideal – Solves the Problem Itself

Define the Ideal – and Then Find the Resources to Create It

Genius, Resources and Ideal Thinking

Ideal Solution/Machine/User Manual to Uncover All Required Functions

Systems – Get the Right System and Get the System Right

Ideal Outcome to Help Us Appropriately Ignore/Subjugate Constraints

Too Much Innovation?

Ideal Outcome to Solve Problems

Ideal and Constraints, Reality and Problem Solutions

Constraints = Restrictions on How We Deliver (Not What We Want/Don’t Want)

The Ideal Helps Test Our Real Constraints

Start with Only Requirements – Initially Forget Both Systems and Constraints

Ideal, Constraints – and the Appropriate Levels of Problem Solving

Conclusion: Ideal Outcome Prompts Us to Understand Requirements and Simultaneously Find Solutions

7 Resources: The Fuel of Innovation

Using Resources – How to Become a Resourceful Engineer

Use the Resources We’ve Got

Locating and Defining Resources

Resources and Make or Buy Decisions

Needs – the Beginning of Any Process – Engineering or Otherwise

Requirements, Solutions and Resources

TRIZ Helps Engineers Balance Ingenuity and Time to Encourage Innovation in Design

Functions = Solutions to Give Us What We Want to Deliver

TRIZ Problem Solving Using Resources

Resource Hunt

TRIZ Triggers Plus Resources for Practical Solutions

The Ideal Solves the Problem Itself – Ideal Self Systems

Ideal Self Systems – Ideal Resources Used to Design a Tomato Sauce Bottle

Best Use of Resources – Overall TRIZ Philosophy

8 Ideal and the Ideality Audit

Ideality Audit

Benefit Capture Exercise

Undertaking an Ideality Audit

No System Yet?

Using the Ideal in Aerospace Problem-Solving Sessions

Thinking Up Solutions is More Fun Than Meeting Needs

Different Stakeholders Have Different Ideal Outcomes

TRIZ Embraces Solution-Mode Thinking

Defining the Ultimate Goal and Prime Benefit

Identifying Real Goals – Owning a Submarine Fleet

Ideal Outcome and Inventing

Using the Ideal to Understand What We Want and Then Achieve It – Windows for Houses and Offices


Part Four: TRIZ, Invention and Next Generation Systems

9 System Development and Trends of Evolution

TRIZ Trends for Finding Future Systems

Perfecting Products

Origin of the TRIZ Trends of Evolution

TRIZ Trends and Lines of Evolution

Evolution – Including Technical

Successful Products Meet Needs

Using the Trends for Practical Problem Solving

The 8 Trends Map Natural Progression and Development

Ideality is Increased by Moving towards the Ideal Along Any or All of the TRIZ Trends

10 Inventing with TRIZ

How to Be a Great but Mundane Inventor with TRIZ

TRIZ and Invention

Product DNA Predicts Future Systems

Development of the Breathalyzer

TRIZ for Invention

Interesting Gaps Between Inspirational Ideas and Scientific Proofs

TRIZ and All Routes to Invention – Creating Systems

TRIZ Helps with All the Major Routes to Invention

Systematic Routes to Invention

Corporate Innovation and Invention is Poorly Rewarded

Part Five: TRIZ for System Analysis and Improvement

11 Function Analysis for System Understanding

Function Analysis and Maps for Problem Understanding

Why Use TRIZ Function Analysis?

What Can TRIZ Function Analysis Reveal at a Glance?

Basic Building Blocks for Problem Solving – Defining Ideality

For Problem Solving We Need Both the Ideality Audit and the Function Analysis

Function Analysis of the Current System (System We’ve Got)

Function Analysis for Understanding and Solving Simple Problems

Systems Develop to Deliver Benefits Better – Perfecting Functions to Deliver Those Benefits

Systems Develop in Response to Changing Needs

Simple Rules of Function Analysis

Function Maps Contain All the System and Relevant Environmental Elements

Problem Solving from the Function Analysis Problem List

Oxford Standard Solutions for Solving Problems Mapped in Function Analysis

Function Analysis at Every Stage and for Every Kind of Difficult Problem

Function Analysis Identifies All Significant Problems

Example of Function Analysis of a Single Item – a Coffee Cup

Function Analysis for Locating and Dealing with the Causes of Problems – Roadside Bombs


Case Study: Improving the Opening of the Bitesize Pouch at Mars

Mars Enjoys Immediate Success of New Pouch Packaging Concept

The Pouch Problem

Solving the Pouch Problem with TRIZ

The Winning Idea and the Validation

Patenting the Idea

The Future


Appendix 11.1  Oxford Standard Solutions These are the Traditional TRIZ 76 Standard Solutions Re-Arranged into Three Categories

Three Categories of Solution

Harms = H

Insufficiency = i

12 Classical TRIZ: Substance-Field Analysis and ARIZ

ARIZ and Substance–Fields in Altshuller’s Development of TRIZ Tools

Substance–Field Analysis

Building Substance–Field Models

76 Standard Solutions and Accessing Them with Substance–Field Models

Simple Steps for Applying Substance–Field Model Analysis to Problems

ARIZ – An Algorithm for Inventive Problem Solving

Overall Structure of the ARIZ Algorithm

Using ARIZ to Solve a Problem with Coal Blocking a Pipe


Appendix 12.1 Traditional TRIZ 76 Standard Solutions

Class 1: Building and Destruction of Su–Field/Substance– Field Models

Class 2 Development of Substance–Field Models

Class 3: System Transitions and Evolution – Transition to Super-system and Sub-system

Class 4: Solutions for Detection and Measurement

Class 5: Extra Helpers

Part Six: How to Problem Solve with TRIZ – the Problem Solving Maps

13 TRIZ Problem-solving Maps and Algorithms

TRIZ for the Right Functions at the Right Time in the Right Places

Where Do We Start with TRIZ? Which Tools When?

TRIZ is Immediately Useful but Understanding Takes Time and Practice

Two Fundamental Areas in Practical Technical Problem Solving

Problem Understanding and Solving Routes and Applying the Ideality Tactics

Case Study BAE Systems ‘SRES’ Ducting Design

Problem Context

System Modelling and Analysis

Final Solution

Summary and Conclusions

Benefits of TRIZ to the BAE Systems Team

Appendix I 39 Parameters of the Contradiction Matrix

Appendix II Contradiction Matrix



TRIZ For Engineers:

Enabling Inventive Problem Solving

Title page

About the Author


Karen Gadd has been teaching TRIZ and problem solving with engineering teams from major companies for over 13 years. Her mission is to make TRIZ learning straightforward and the TRIZ Tools easy to use. She has worked on nothing but TRIZ since discovering and learning its power to give us all the routes, to all the solutions, to all engineering problems.

In 1998 Karen started Oxford Creativity to concentrate on developing simple and practical TRIZ problem solving for the European market. Karen has taken TRIZ to major companies including Rolls-Royce, British Nuclear Group, Bentley Motors, BAE Systems, Nissan, Pilkington, Borealis and Sanofi Aventis. Oxford Creativity is now well established as one of the world’s top TRIZ companies and has helped to make TRIZ well known and widely used throughout Europe and encouraged top companies to create expert TRIZ teams for innovative problem solving.

Karen studied Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College, and has an MBA from London Business School. After working in strategy and corporate planning in the City of London she returned to live in Oxford and was a tutor at Oxford’s Business School the European School of Management ESCP-EAP (based in Paris, Oxford, Madrid and Berlin). From 1995–2002 she was a Governor of Coventry University. Karen’s career has been dedicated to creating new enterprises which make a difference – she founded both MUSIC at OXFORD and the European Union Baroque Orchestra and ran both for over ten years and raised millions in corporate sponsorship to make their activities possible. These successful music organisations still flourish. MUSIC at OXFORD transformed Oxford’s music scene and is now approaching its 30th season of top professional classical concerts. EUBO has celebrated 25 years of launching the careers of talented young musicians and has been so successful in its mission, that there are now former EUBO students in every major professional baroque ensemble in the world. Karen launched Oxford Creativity to make TRIZ accessible to everyone and transform and launch careers of TRIZ enthusiasts and champions. There are now thousands of engineers who have learned TRIZ from Karen and who intelligently daily apply TRIZ to solve difficult technical and scientific problems.

Karen is long married, has four children and three grandchildren and lives happily in Oxford and the Lake District. Karen has recently become a director of the Orchestra of St.John’s. Concerts and singing are still her interests and part of her activities, as well as speaking at conferences throughout the world on the success and power of TRIZ.


I would like to thank the following people for their support and help.

My Managing Director and daughter, Lilly Haines-Gadd, for her unfailing enthusiasm, support, patience and encouragement.

My colleagues who have worked with me to create the simple approaches to TRIZ in this book – we have all learned from each other and I am grateful for all they have taught me – most especially Henry Strickland, Andrew Martin, Andrea Mica.

All those who have helped me put my ideas and TRIZ solutions into a form to communicate it to others. Merryn Haines-Gadd, our graphic designer, who turns my thoughts into pictures, and Eric Willner and Nicky Skinner of Wiley for their help, optimism and common sense advice and Caroline Davies of Oxford Creativity.

Our whole TRIZ community and all those who learned TRIZ from me and my colleagues, and who have joined us in our quest to make TRIZ accessible within their organisations and beyond, especially:

Frédéric Mathis (Mars), Ric Parker (Rolls-Royce), Dave Knott (Rolls-Royce), Pauline Marsh (BAE Systems), Simon Brodie (RAF) Mike West (Babcock), and Professor Derek Sheldon (Institution of Mechanical Engineers).

Those who have worked to bring TRIZ to the world and first introduced me to the power of its toolkit, most especially, Ellen Domb and Sergei Ikovenko.

My thanks to all the engineers who have taught me, inspired me and worked with me to solve problems with TRIZ. To all the TRIZ teams of engineers we have worked with (but we cannot name for security reasons) whose clever ideas during TRIZ sessions helped us to extend and develop our TRIZ thinking.

My own family of engineers: my father Kenneth Gadd who claims that as an old engineer (contemporary, but unknowing of Altshuller) he represents a generation whose engineering prowess was unmatched by any previous or succeeding generations. All my fellow Imperial College engineers, including my husband Geoff Haines (a middle-aged engineer) and to my son Jonathan Haines-Gadd (a young engineer), and those few members of my family who don’t yet work with TRIZ but who have supported me in my championship for such challenging causes – my mother Kathleen Gadd, my daughter Rebecca Haines-Gadd and my TRIZniks of the future, my grandchildren Isobelle, Livia and Freddie.

Most especially, the great Genrich Altshuller – my gratitude and respect for his extraordinary vision to uncover and summarise the world’s engineering genius grows with all the TRIZ work I undertake. I have returned to his source material at every stage of my learning, and I strive to merely interpret the power and logic of his TRIZ.

This is what I offer with this book, faithfulness to Altshuller’s TRIZ tools and I hope simple, clear innovative ways for understanding and using them. TRIZ requires both right (creative) and left (logical and systematic) sides of the brain to make it work. The only known way to join these two is with laugher and humour and the TRIZ cartoons attempt to achieve this. I have been assisted in this by the wonderful cartoonist Clive Goddard, who has worked with me to create TRIZ cartoons to help show just how much fun TRIZ offers. I hope we have succeeded.


Since discovering TRIZ, Karen Gadd has been an enthusiastic, near-evangelical, promoter of the methodology. She has introduced this exciting modern approach to innovation to many companies, including my own, as well as countless individuals. I am very pleased that she has now captured the essence of TRIZ in this well-written and very readable book, with its colourful and amusing illustrations, making TRIZ accessible to an even wider audience.

TRIZ is a contradiction in terms: it is free thought by numbers; it is a top-down approach to lateral thinking; it is a structured approach to brainstorming. Emerging from post-cold-war Russia, TRIZ is based on an intense and systematic study of all the world’s great inventions. All of these can be broken down to be rendered as a combination of simple physical phenomena. There are actually relatively few conceptual solutions to problems (about 100) and 2,500 or so scientific principles. By presenting the designer, or inventor with novel (at times implausible) combinations of principles, new ways of solving problems can be discovered.

Look around you. Mix static electricity and photographic imaging and you have the instant, dry printing of the photo-copier. Mix suction and vortices with centrifugal force and you have the bag-less simplicity of the new generation of vacuum cleaners. The list is endless, as are the possibilities for new inventions.

We don’t realise how bounded are our conceptual spaces and how linear our thought processes. We are locked in by past experience, by ‘rules’ passed down by our teachers, by the ‘it’ll never work’ attitudes of those around us. It is far easier to suppress innovation than to stimulate it. If, like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland, you sometimes believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast, you may be able to get by without TRIZ. Many seemingly impossible things are indeed impossible, but some are not. TRIZ will set you free to explore the world of the apparently impossible.

TRIZ is an essential part of the modern engineer’s or inventor’s tool kit. This book will not make you an expert overnight, but it will hopefully stimulate your interest and make you want to explore more deeply the world of TRIZ.

Professor Ric Parker, FREng

Director of Research and Technology

Rolls-Royce Group


Teoriya Resheniya Izobretatelskikh Zadatch = Theory of Inventive Problem Solving


TRIZ is an engineering problem solving toolkit which successfully summarizes past solutions and successes to show us how to systematically solve future problems. TRIZ comes from Russia, initially and primarily the work of Genrich Altshuller, a great engineer and inventor, perhaps one of the greatest engineers of the twentieth century, whose work helps all other engineers. All good engineers live with both uncertainty and certainty – uncertainty about where to find the solution to the next problem and certainty that a solution will be found. TRIZ enhances and speeds up this process by directing us to the places full of good solutions to our particular problems. TRIZ focuses our problem understanding to the particular, relevant problem model and then offers conceptual solutions to that model. Good engineers reduce wasted time with TRIZ as they head straight for the valid solutions and use their valuable time to define their problem accurately, find all the solutions to that problem and then develop those solutions. TRIZ and other toolkits help in all these various stages of problem understanding but only TRIZ helps in the solution locating stage. The best engineers enjoy complex problem solving and finding new, better innovative solutions – TRIZ enhances their abilities as innovators and just trims out the wasted empty trials and dead ends. TRIZ keeps engineers doing what they do best – solving problems – and takes away nothing but time wasting, brain deadening, complex and irrelevant detail. TRIZ helps engineers power forward to useful and practical answers.

TRIZ is a toolkit – each tool is simple to use, and between them they cover all aspects of problem understanding and solving. The only challenge with TRIZ is learning which tool to use when, and this comes with practice and familiarity. Complete TRIZ algorithms are hard to master, as they set out to cover all problem situations, and are about as useful as an algorithm to help you complete 18 holes in golf. This book takes you through each TRIZ tool in turn and suggests when and where to use them, and offers some simple problem solving flowcharts for each tool. Once each TRIZ tool is mastered, it will become part of your problem solving tool; some you will use everyday and some just occasionally, but they are all useful for engineering problems, and are great thinking tools to help good engineers become great engineers.

In Russian TRIZ is written as above. TRIZ became known and available outside Russia after 1993, although there were some occasional TRIZ activities before that in some Western companies. In the USA there was some resistance to a Russian technique with a strange acronym name, which to most people was incomprehensible and unpronounceable. Some attempts were made to anglicise and rename it as TIPS (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) – this was not widely adopted and in the USA TRIZ is now pronounced as TREES and in Europe TRIZZZZ.

At my first Altshuller conference in California I was surprised that there seemed to be three TRIZ camps: the Russian, the American and the European, and they didn’t seem to be mixing much. (There are now other powerful camps from Korea and Japan). I called my paper TIPSY TRIZ and talked about the western TIPS acronym representing the resistance to Russian thoroughness, the temptation to oversimplify TRIZ in order to gain acceptance and to break down the initial resistance to this rigorous toolkit. I talked about the UK TRIZ serious successes with major engineering companies, and the TRIZ impact on UK engineering, but at the end I made jokes about trying to problem-solve whilst under the influence of vodka – only the Europeans laughed, the Americans viewed me with disapproval, and the Russians with incomprehension. The paper was mostly about overcoming the difficulties of selling an unknown but brilliant Russian process to Western companies who initially view it with weariness and suspicion, but once familiar with TRIZ are almost always smitten, embrace it with enthusiasm, and how company experts in other toolkits always argue that TRIZ is like ….. and name their favourites. Persuading them that TRIZ is unlike any other toolkit, but complimentary to the others, first involves getting them to use TRIZ to successfully solve problems. This demonstrates that TRIZ covers the parts that no other toolkits even attempt – and that TRIZ is a toolkit for moving from vague problem to defined problem, and then to locating relevant conceptual solutions distilled from all of science and engineering – and that no other toolkit comes close.

I was telling dispiriting stories of how despite its unique power, how hard it can be to sell TRIZ to European companies, and then (I hoped) the more cheering tale of how Oxford Creativity used TRIZ to overcome the problems of getting engineers and engineering communities to adopt TRIZ in the UK. In particular I described our spectacular success in taking TRIZ to Rolls-Royce and the effect of our TRIZ training and problem solving with many hundreds of their engineers. Getting Rolls-Royce to adopt TRIZ took over three years and its introduction was due to TRIZ being initially championed by their R&T director Ric Parker assisted by Dave Knott – a rare prior TRIZ convert earlier, as he had heard a TRIZ lecture some years before and written his most successful patent the next day. With Ric and Dave’s help and enthusiasm we overcame the inertia and hostility and TRIZ has been one of their core competence tools since 2000. Since then our other successes have included BAE Systems where even the most experienced and curmudgeonly engineers can be turned around to energetic enthusiasm.

I have always been amazed that, until some small understanding is established, how strong the resistance and inertia to TRIZ can be at a corporate and personal level. This is despite its huge value to engineers, its documented successes, and once accepted and learned, its transforming power on even the most plodding of engineers to think clearly and problem-solve innovatively, quickly and effectively.

Recently whilst teaching a seminar at a college in Oxford University to six technical directors of an international engineering company, we asked them why they had been considering TRIZ with us since 1999 yet ten years later were cautiously allowing themselves a one-day seminar. “We thought TRIZ was either too trivial or too complex for us” came the answer from these clever engineers: all were in desperate need of new solutions, new products and greater understanding of future technologies. After the one day they said TRIZ switched the lights on for them in an area of new technology, where before they had been groping around each equipped with the relatively small torch of their own knowledge and ideas. They have since all learned TRIZ and are working to establish it throughout the company.

The TRIZ tools were developed in Russia by engineers for engineers with thousands of man-years of work (and many women-years). Russia 30-50 years ago was a very different culture to our own and time was not of the essence for them and to learn TRIZ the Russian way was, and is, rigorous, requires great application of thought, with lots of worked examples and at least three months is recommended. This is not practical in Europe today and together with other TRIZ users I have endeavoured to create TRIZ Workshops which do not compromise the thoroughness or rigour of TRIZ but will give an understanding of the best TRIZ tools in days, rather than months.

We have also used TRIZ to solve the essential contradiction of learning TRIZ – how to teach a powerful, set of problem solving tools to engineers and managers who are hard pressed to spare the time. We explain the TRIZ tools and show how to use them after each workshop on their own problems; back at work there needs to be sufficient time and practical application for TRIZ to become useful and effective for problem solving for individuals and teams. Enough experience, and even some small successes in the real world, as well as solving big problems that matter, and it will become second nature. TRIZ is very much about analogous thinking, so learning TRIZ is a bit like learning to swim or to drive – once we have been taught and have some confidence, to master it and really do it on our own we need to practise and build the skills and confidence to succeed. Then we know we are able to do it again and better – success and improvement will depend entirely on actually doing it … as often as possible. Nobody will commit to TRIZ until they understand and experience the power and speed of TRIZ to solve problems which will help ensure their company’s future – but once committed to using TRIZ every hour invested in TRIZ will repay many dividends for you for ever.

It has been my privilege to teach (with my colleagues in Oxford Creativity) many thousands of really good and clever engineers in the last thirteen years. Almost all engineers seem to me to be very nice and trustworthy people (mostly men in the UK), with many virtues, including hard work, an appetite for understanding everything about the problem from the big picture to the relevant detail, responsible attitudes, a passion for good solutions, a genuine mistrust of trivia or flash quick answers, good humour and a genuine sense of humility.

All of us at OC teach TRIZ in our very different styles and with as much fun as possible. Despite a reputation for full days, hard work and light heartedness, TRIZ classes are acknowledged as enjoyable, useful if exhausting experiences and we hope delegates leave with a great deal to think about and practice. We teach TRIZ in two bites; two days learning the essential TRIZ tools, followed by two days on the TRIZ problem solving process. Over 95% of delegates sign up for the second course, which is encouraging.

This book is a result of thirteen years problem solving, teaching, (and learning) TRIZ. I offer this book in the same spirit as an apprentice had to offer a ‘masterpiece’ in the hope that he / she could now enter the ranks of their trade accepted by their masters. I hope I offer it in a spirit of humility and I do not offer my way of making TRIZ because I have left TRIZ mostly unchanged, but worked to reveal its simple and powerful logic, assisted by flow charts, pictures cartoons and even jokes.

However I have made one significant new approach and offer two routes for System Analysis – the traditional TRIZ Substance Field Analysis and the five classes of the 76 Standard Solutions and a simpler alternative used by elements of the TRIZ community of Function Analysis and three simple categories of 76 Standard Solutions – how to deal with harm, how to deal with insufficiency and how to detect/ measure something. I have taught both in major companies but have only used the second, easier system for many years.

I feel passionately that TRIZ should now be communicated clearly and simply without losing any of its rigour; made simple and straightforward but never, I hope, made trivial. I have always encouraged jokes, fun and laughter when learning and using TRIZ as it seems to make everyone more creative. I was pleased to see that scientific research has shown that the only way to become truly creative in scientific and engineering problem solving is by joining the left side of the brain (alleged to be systematic) with the right side of the brain (alleged to be creative). To make the right side of our brain join up with our left side we have to laugh and see the fun in situations.*

As in our classes I offer TRIZ tools with jokes and (I hope) humorous stories – not to make light of TRIZ but because I believe this research, which claims the importance and power of humour. I am a great believer in keeping as much fun and enjoyment in life as possible. I hope the cartoons I have commissioned from the wonderful Clive Goddard and the jokes I use here do not offend – I have a very English sense of humour.

Accompanying this book is a website ( that contains additional material and case studies. There are expanded versions of the 40 Principles and the Oxford Standard Solutions and an Effects database and links to other versions of the TRIZ effects. This website invites TRIZ engineers to contribute their own successes with TRIZ – including case studies – and an opportunity to share problem solving with other engineers.


* W. Wayt Gibbs, Side Splitting, Scientific American, January 2001.