Lateral Thinking vs. TRIZ ?

Updated: Apr 11, 2019


I've seen a number of companies latch on to one set of tools for generating ideas.  While there are a number of tools that have flooded the market, 2 that stand out are Lateral Thinking and TRIZ.  Both serve a complimentary set of services for an organization.   Here's a briefing on how you might want to leverage both tools.


Lateral Thinking is best used for generating ideas on a given topic (problem or opportunity).  The ideas that are generated originate from the collective experiences from a selected group of participants.   While patterns may emerge from those experiences that might provide more abstract ideas to solve a given problem, this falls short of the ideas that could emerge by applying a TRIZ engine.  The TRIZ engine relies on advanced algorithms, semantic abstraction of ideas and problems to identify patterns that would not otherwise be obvious or initially intuitive.  In addition, you can point the TRIZ engine at whole bodies of knowledge (assuming permission has been granted) and mine the knowledge for new patterns and ideas that could be used to solve one or more existing problems.


If you've not seen a demo of TRIZ, it might be worthwhile so you can gain a better appreciation for the tools that support this algorithm and draw your own conclusions.

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