Innovation has been a hot topic for years, but because of the pandemic, it has lost its impetus and there has been a complete disorientation of the activity that had gained momentum
Innovation has been a hot topic for years, but because of the pandemic, it has lost its impetus and there has been a complete disorientation of the activity that had gained momentum. But what is innovation? This is a creative solution that deals with an existing problem. It turns out that we have to find the “pebbles in the shoe”...
In the US, where innovation
was seemingly developing in full force
criticism started to emerge that this process was quite overrated. Silicon Valley, as well as many leading technology companies, have been blamed for responding poorly to the crisis. Of course, they gave us Zoom, but much more was expected of them. The pandemic has exposed the limitations and inability of large and small companies, presented as innovation leaders, to cope with the situation and to innovate in areas that are truly significant.
The magic called innovation has suddenly disappeared. And it turned out that it would be a mistake to let
good old companies
die, which produce goods and offer services the old-fashioned way. The pandemic was sobering. In this context, the conclusion is that innovation is useful, as long as it is not useless, because in many cases what is desired is presented as being real. And many of the developments so far have been simply absorbing ready-made funding. It is obviously time to rethink our understanding of the so-called innovation.
The TRIZ method
or the Theory of inventive problem solving is not new, but can be useful in the strive to overcome barriers to development. Its creator was the Soviet inventor Heinrich Altshuler (1926 - 1998). He analysed a large number of international patents and in 1973 formulated a matrix of 40 standard ways to eliminate technical inconsistencies. Among them are the principles of local quality, unification, “matryoshka”, transition to another dimension, converting harm into benefit, etc. Here are some examples:
- Principle of asymmetry - many problems become easier to solve when symmetrical shapes are made asymmetrical. The symmetrical headlights of cars can be changed, so that the left headlight illuminates the road near the car and does not shine in the eyes of oncoming drivers, and the right headlight illuminates the road further away. Car tires can be made more durable on the outside, so as not to be damaged by curbs.
- Principle of sphericity – a switch from flat to spherical surfaces, or from translational to circular motion. This principle is used in martial arts to deal with a stronger opponent - techniques in which circular motions are performed do not allow the stronger opponent to use his power.
- Principle of universality – an example for that are ships that simultaneously transport and process raw materials.
In the process of getting out of the crisis, it is time to focus efforts and funding on things that will have a tangible public impact. We can use the available knowledge to create solutions to new or old problems. But before that we need to rethink what innovation is and its application around the world and in our country.