Comment & Analysis

Masterclass... January 2016

Karen Gadd

Karen Gadd
Karen Gadd

A systematic approach to problem solving has proven benefits in technology development and can also help engineers to get ahead

Karen Gadd, founder of Triz innovation consultancy Oxford Creativity

Triz, the systematic capability for understanding and solving problems, was devised in Russia for and by mechanical engineers. Most of its adherents today are mechanical engineers. But increasingly it’s being used in other areas, such as management, marketing and business.

Triz is about scoping a problem to produce the best definition of what you really want, then reapplying proven knowledge and successes to locate the best solutions. Triz has at its core unique lists of about ‘100 solutions to anything’ which creates fast, efficient and effective results. 

That’s why, as well as working with engineering firms such as Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems to solve technology problems, at Oxford Creativity we’re also helping clients such as county councils to manage cost-cutting exercises.

Triz can be used by anyone, in any discipline or sector, in companies big or small. We want everyone to use Triz, so we have created what we believe is the most logical and easiest way of learning and doing it. Most companies start by proving it works. They use Triz to understand and solve their most urgent problems. Once convinced of its power they then create internal champions to spread the idea.  

Another important element of Triz is how it creates the right environment for innovation. Triz enhances problem-solving confidence and the ability to innovate in everyone, from top to bottom in a company. Crucially, if the person at the top is supportive of innovation, the organisation will seek new approaches. It will value people with new ideas and be prepared to take risks. Companies such as Samsung attribute their innovation success to using Triz and know that people have to be equipped, confident and motivated to establish an effective innovation culture.

As well as sending staff to attend our Triz learning workshops, a lot of companies call us in at short notice – when they are stuck on a critical and urgent problem and no other approach has worked. So far Triz has never failed. 

But the most innovative companies we work with get us in early, to embed Triz into their design processes. It’s like leading a healthy lifestyle instead of going to A&E. If you design it right first time you’ll have fewer problems down the line. Triz delivers strong solutions to problems.

For more information about learning Triz or help with a problem, visit: 


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