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TRIZ and Avoiding Responsibility and Blame

| On 10, Jan 2006

By: Graham Rawlinson

There are many uses for TRIZ, and one is to minimise or Ideally avoid all harmful effects.
Being held responsible for something is a good and a bad thing (spot possible Contradiction?) so it seems likely that people could, and indeed have, used some or
many of the 40 Principles. Partly for some humour, but it also may be useful, I thought I would write up some examples of how people avoid responsibility, and with it blame, by using the 40 Principles.
If you would like to add some more then please write to Graham@dagr.demon.co.uk or simply send letters to the editor of The TRIZ Journal.
1. Segmentation: “OK – it was a really big mistake, and thinking about it I realise that it was a combination of a host of little things that just seemed to mount up.”
2. Separation (in space and time): “Hi Jack, I just wanted to call you from Cape Town to say that I realise now that I was rather rude the other day and I want to apologise”
3. Local Quality: “OK – I know I was angry, that I drove recklessly and smashed the car up, but what really I must apologise for is turning my back on you when you were trying to talk to me, that really is terrible and I won’t do it again, I promise”
4. Asymmetry (Increase): “I know I have a good side and a bad side, and sometimes the bad side shows and I will try to show it less”
5. Merging: “I know I was wrong but I was trying to do the right thing, the bad thing came out of trying to help the best way I could think of at the time” (you may notice the combination of Principles in this one).
6. Universality: “We all make mistakes from time to time – this was just one of those times for me”
7: Nesting: “Well, you don’t know the real me, I keep that hidden; for most people and this includes you, I need to protect myself, and attack is the best form of defence”
8. Compensation: “Yes, a few people died, but think of how many were saved, or will be saved, or might be better off in the future”
9. Preliminary Counteraction: “You just don’t understand me, you never listen, you always try to walk away from the problem, yes, I’m sorry I hit you…”
10. Preliminary action: “I’ve bought you something, just a little fancy I had when I was at the shops, so why not open it up and see what’s inside ……… well, yes, I do need to talk about something, the other day in discussion with the boss I agreed to take up a position as manager in Las Vegas, I know I should have talked to you first before accepting…”
13. Reversal: “At least I did something, somebody had to do something and I’m the only one with the guts to take action when things get tough”
16: Partial or excessive actions: “OK – I apologise, I’m really, really sorry, I will do whatever you want to make it better, anything, it was my fault, I shouldn’t have done it, no-one else is to blame, I knew it was wrong and I still went ahead and did it, I’m guilty, and ready for my punishment”
17. Dimensionality change: “OK – I hit you; I will buy you a new jumper to make up for it”
21. Hurrying or skipping: “OK – it was my fault, can we move past this now or do we have to go on about it forever?”
22. Blessing in disguise: “Well, actually it feels better to know that I do make mistakes, and I am willing to admit it; sometimes I think I have to be perfect, well I don’t”
23. Intermediary: “My fault, here, you can tear up my favourite ….” (best to have some things around you pretend to be really important which can be used from time to time in situations like this – this type I remember most from childhood)
26. Copying: “Yes, yes, yes, it’s me again, every time, always me, never anyone else” and jumping to
40 Composite materials (make it a composition): “There was so much going on, I had a long drive, there was an accident in front of me which was really scary, then I had a phone call from your mother, and the CD player in the car was not working properly, so by the time I got to the pub, just for one drink, and met Jo, well, yes, I’m sorry I forgot we were going out for a meal for your birthday”
Anyone want to fill in the gaps?