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Holiday TRIZ -Holidaying in Crisis..

| On 21, Dec 2008

Prakasan Kappoth

Ellen Domb posted a commentary about the Holiday TRIZ when the “sub-prime” axes slowly began to uproot the decades old financial institutions like Lehman Brothers. She suggested TRIZ thinking even while you are holidaying to identify innovation opportunities around us. I guess, for many of us the July 4th vacation then was much peaceful and happier than the December holiday when the whole world is reeling under economic crisis and mounting job losses. Come December, I’m not sure how many of us will really enjoy this vacation the way we would like to enjoy by keeping all worries aside.  


As a strong believer of “every problem is an opportunity” statement, I see there is a good side of the current crisis we are facing. There is an interesting analogy perhaps relevant here is from the ancient Indian Ayurvedic detoxification treatment (Ancient Indian herbal medical practice), which is suggested by ancient literature. It is said that at least once in 3 years we should undergo a detoxification process to rejuvenate our body and cells to live longer and healthier life by expelling or neutralizing the toxic elements within. During this detoxification period, sometimes lasts up to 4 – 8 weeks depending upon your body condition, you are forced to go through the tough diets and stringent routines and live a life with all sorts of constraints. Drawing the same analogy with a positive frame of mind for today’s crisis, we should perhaps consider this as a detoxification package provided by our system to clean up the mess so that our future is better and young.


Now, how can we consider this situation with an opportunistic mindset and enjoy our vacation? What are the possibilities for you as an individual, wanting to do something your own, setting up your own new business, or as a representative of your current organization to develop new innovations, and most importantly HOW can you think out-of-the box and enjoy your vacation?


Extending the “Holiday TRIZ” concept, there are powerful thinking techniques within the TRIZ framework to help you enjoying your vacation by exercising your grey cells and adding some fun, but also generating new ideas for a better future.


Resource thinking:  Resource thinking is a very powerful concept in TRIZ considering everything around you  as the resources for solving a problem or creating new products or services, which is easily attainable and free of cost (or low cost).
– Resources are Time, Space, nearby systems (product/services), people, and even emotions
– Resources can be found within your domain, the super-system around you 
– Even bad things in the system are powerful resource for you


E.g. Do you find people spending maximum TIME inside their houses? Can you create an affordable product or service for them to utilize that time?


Trends: There are nine laws of technological trends in TRIZ.  But, look around you; can you identify some MicroTrends? Are people becoming spiritual during the crisis time, how are they spending their money for food items, children education plan, health habits… the lists can go on. The more you start observing small things around you, the better you start thinking about a new opportunity to capitalize the trends.


E.g. Do you see a trend more and more families are gathering to churches, more socialization happening around the church?


It is easier said than done, because we are naturally wired to think about the present worries than future opportunities. Wish you a very happy festival season and a vacation ahead. Hope the New Year will be prosperous with new business ideas, service model and products.