Thinking clearly and coherently is one of the most important skills TRIZ delivers. This applies in all situations even when your brain may not be the organ driving your behaviour – when your heart takes over then you need TRIZ logic and clarity even more than before.
Some years ago, I was helping deliver an innovation day for Nissan – I was the TRIZ person- and I introduced myself to a most gorgeous woman, who was dashing around helping the young engineers with their tasks of transforming ideas into IP. She was the patent attorney in the team and she told me that Oxford TRIZ had played cupid for her – causing her to meet, fall in love and marry her husband. I will call her Patenta and her Engineer husband, Guy (not their real names).
Guy came to Oxford to learn TRIZ and it had such a transformative effect on him that he produced many patents. As a result, he was sent to their company’s patent attorneys and was assigned Patenta to work with him. They were based several hundred miles apart and the journey was as inconvenient as it can be in the UK, with no direct road or rail links. It always took him about 5 hours each way, but he had to persevere to get all his patents filed. Guy wanted to ask Patenta to go out with him, but he thought they lived too far apart to make it feasible – so he applied TRIZ to the problem.
His Ideal was get to know Patenta well enough to see if they had a future together – getting together with Patenta was going to be a big commitment for him and any first dates would look very serious, as she knew how far away he worked and lived. So Guy, considering the Ideality of the situation (whereby the Benefits are assessed in relation to the Costs and Harms,) clearly identified all these factors to help him come up with a solution. I.e. Benefits (joy of potential new partner) / Costs (time needed to get to know her) and Harms (inefficiencies of going on a date and potential embarrassment and rejection).
His solution was to give her a serious proposition right at the start – he explained he wanted to go out with her/ get to know her and everything that went with it, but they lived too far apart. So, he suggested that they began their relationship by going on holiday together. This invoked several TRIZ Principles – in particular, 13 – doing things ‘the other way round,’ principle 21 – ‘Rushing Through,’ i.e. go at high speed through stages of a process which are high-risk and possibly also TRIZ Principle 7: to make it efficient, they could telescope their early wooing.
Patenta said the holiday delivered all the benefits of a courtship and they were married soon afterwards. This meant that Guy got a clever and beautiful wife and much more help with his future patents.