The Ideal Container is No Container


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Ideal Marketing is No Marketing

Ideal Sales is No Sales

What is Ideality? As defined in the book, Systematic Innovation: An Introduction to TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) co-authored by John Terninko:

Ideality is defined at the sum of a system’s useful functions divided by the sum of its undesired effects.

Ideal DesignThis theoretical measure suggests we look at designs that:

  1. Accept current design.
  2. Increase the numerator (useful functions) by adding functions or by improving the performance of some functions (the more important ones).
  3. Remove unnecessary functions in order to reduce the denominator.
  4. Combine the subsystems for several functions into a single system in order to decrease the denominator.
  5. Increase the numerator at a faster rate than the denominator.

In sales and marketing, I view Ideal Design, a concept of TRIZ, in very simple terms. We must incorporate sales and marketing as the way we do business. This would actually mean that any useful function our organization does results in an increase in sales and marketing. As we decrease useful functions it also improves our sales and marketing. This sounds very simplistic process, but it is much more difficult than you may think. Think about a few of these ideas:

  • What/Who could you Substitute?
  • What/Who can you Combine?
  • What/Who can you Adapt?
  • What can you Modify or Magnify?
  • Can be Put to other uses?
  • What/Who can you Eliminate or reduce?
  • What/Who can you Reverse/Rearrange?

You may notice this spells SCAMPER, an old product development method. Re-framing your story in a different context or a different viewpoint can create a flood of ideas to consider. Ask yourself, when was the last time anyone suggested doing less to improve your sales and marketing? In the Systematic Innovation: book they list Four Steps for Ideal Design

Step 1. Describe the situation you would like to improve.

Step 2. Describe the ideal situation

Step 3. Can you think of how the ideal situation might be realized? In other worth, is there a known way to realize it?

  • If “yes”: Congratulations! You have an idea! Be sure to document it.
  • If “no”: Consider how to utilize available resources.
  • If “yes.” What are doing so is associated with some drawback: Go to resolving a contradiction?

If there is an obstacle that prevents you from realizing the ideal situation, describe what it is and why it is an obstacle:

Step 4. Do you know what change(s) should be made to overcome the obstacle?

Not every time will an Ideal Design concept work. Sometimes you must back away from your “Ideal” Design or proposition just slightly. However, it should be one of the first efforts when you review your current sales and marketing practice. The ability to do something with nothing is intriguing to say the least.

Ideal Design

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.


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