«TRIZ beyond Technology. Stratagems as the analog of methods for resolving non-technical issues within the fields of political elections, advertising and public relations»
Scientific advisor: TRIZ Master Anatoly Guin
General Characteristics of Research Work
In 1991 I started applying TRIZ for solving non-technical problems. As a result, I have gained experience in political campaigning and amassed sizeable card index of my elegant solutions in this field. The card index enabled guided generalizations and the discovery of methods for finding strong solutions similar to Altshuller’s principles for resolving technical contradictions. The new principles differ from the original ones in that they consider/engage a new dimension, connected to a man. This dimension includes notions of motivation, stereotypes, mentality, fears, frame of mind, various psychological effects, and so forth. Such principles, dealing with human behavior, I named “stratagems” – a term borrowed from an ancient Chinese volume.
A pinnacle of my scientific research on the subject is the book “The Principles of Strategy and Tactics of a Political Campaign”, published in 1998. This book is a quintessence of my experiences in application of TRIZ for political and PR campaigns, which are characterized by the ideal attack, the ideal defense, the ideal concealment; and which is comprised, in part, by the “intellectual Aikido”, where a shortcoming is transformed into an advantage, and the opponents’ energy is working against them…
21 stratagems, 52 principles and 31 sub-principles are defined in the book. I select these, based on experience, as the most effective.
The effective stratagems/principles utilize anywhere from one to several of the following mechanisms:
- formulate or resolve a contradiction;
- conceal current activities – the rival does not resist being moved into a position of disadvantage for a lack of understanding of the whole picture;
- implement a plan, by which a rival becomes irrelevant as (s)he is “switched off” of a control over current events;
- develop conditions, under which a rival, who is seemingly on the right track, finds him/herself in a trap;
- enable utilization of someone else’s (rivals, celebrities, general population, the state) resources (of time, image, money, power, information);
- uncover hidden, overlooked or revitalize lost resources.
In addition, the stratagems/principles should conform to the following requirements:
- “longevity”, for principles may be dulled and stop being effective as they become trite;
- simplicity of implementation and low cost;
The methodology showed a new direction for those, involved in political campaigns. It was introduced as a subject of study at some colleges and universities in the curriculums of political science, social studies and public relations.
In addition to principles and stratagems, the dissertation addresses the methodology of development of a strategy by which an Ideal Final Result, IFR, is defined and the available resources, required for attaining the Ideal are determined. As such, this approach enables a better understanding of the strategy and its development from the TRIZ point of view. The connection to TRIZ is apparent for a strategy, based on IFR and utilization of resources, as it represents one of the options of systemic use of the entire set of the principles and the stratagems
The relevance of the research topic
Solving of the “people” problems of the social, managerial, and marketing nature is very important for the development of the humankind. Here a set of tools, for aiding a solver, is offered.
From experience, we can see that TRIZ helps in solving these problems. However, not every tool of classical TRIZ is suitable for this task, while some tools require creative remaking. The methodology, described in this thesis is a step in this direction.
This methodology is applicable for a wide range of problems in different field of human activities: from a political and PR campaigns to managing people and organizations.
To devise and to field test a number of methods (stratagems) for solving PR-tasks. To substantiate and prove in practice the applicability of some traditional TRIZ tools for resolving PR issues.
The scientific novelty of the research
A new field of TRIZ application;
The new ranking and systemization of the entire set of principles and stratagems;
The new elements in the way of presentation of method/stratagem - «mechanisms of principle functioning», «aspect of contradictions», «mini-parables»;
The new approach for design of a strategy from TRIZ perspective – «IFR and utilization of resources»;
The algorithm for the development of political and PR campaigns strategy.
The practical significance of the research
The methodology enables a considerable improvement of the effectiveness of the solutions to tactical and strategic issues of the political and PR campaigns.
The main provisions presented for defense
The rules for attaining strong solutions of PR issues in a form of principles and stratagems Правила в виде приемов и стратагем для получения сильных решений PR-задач (21 stratagems, 52 principles and 31 sub-principles).
The presentation of the principles in the methodology:
- The description of each principle/stratagem is preceded by a brief introduction, depicting the author’s firsthand experience.
- The formula of the principle/stratagem – an abstract gist of the principle.
- A few supporting examples.
- Mechanisms and commentaries – an explanation of why the principle is effective, mechanism of action and hidden key factors of its success.
- Specifically emphasized “the aspect of contradiction”. It demonstrates the very problem/contradiction the principle is capable of resolving
- Also, I wanted to vividly convey the gist of every principle, to emphasize an unusual quality of a corresponding principle of stratagem. For this reason I wrote verses, short parables.
Verses explain the meaning of the principle/stratagem by way of an image.
The variants of systematization of principles and stratagems.
104 principles is sufficient for resolving the majority of the issues, associated with PR campaigns. Just select the principle at hand and apply it to a particular situation of your campaign.
However, to improve the effectiveness of the methodology, I developed recommendations for systematic application of principles/stratagems.
Depending on the task, you should consider one of the groups of principles. There are five such groups:
Name of the group
Problem description (abridged)
Increasing Candidate's political and image capital, regardless of the competition
ImprovingCandidate's positionrelative to competitors
Identification and reinforcement of motives to vote "FOR" the Candidate
Weakening of competitors’ position
Leveling competitors’ strengths and aggravation of their weaknesses
Oversetting competitors' tactical plans
Distracting voters from the competitors
Identification and reinforcement of motives to vote "AGAINST " competitors
Preserving effectiveness of the Candidate’s campaign activities
(The majority of tactical moves made against rivals are effective only if rivals are not aware of them. Similarly: activities, calculated to impact on voters, require concealment of the true intentions of the Candidate)
Protecting the Candidate from rivals’ counter-advertising, compromising, and consequences of crisis situations
Protecting plans of the electoral campaign from being demolished by rivals or external conditions
PRINCIPLES FOR “ATTRACTING AND RETAINING ATTANTION”
Attracting and retaining voters’ attention for the Candidate and his/her good deeds.
Grouping principles by function
(the notion of “function” is used in a simplified worldly meaning of the word)
The principles may be used for reinforcing or protecting any function. Also, the principles could be used to wreck any function. For aid in application the principles are combined into a two-dimensional matrix:
Change of a function
Reinforcement of a function
Destruction of a function
Protection of a function
Outgrow job responsibilities
Obliteration of an intermediate layer
Impact of a renown
Close the topic
Filling the void
Caution: the standard!
Advantage in a disadvantage
Separation from rivals
Attaching a resource
Based on achieved
Emphasize a problem
Devour the twin
Your candidate as a standard
Management of rivals
Forming a tandem
Support for weak leader of a strong rival
As it were an election
Shift the direction of an attack
Improvement in effectiveness of activities
To skip a choice
Till the soil
Defense by contradiction
Chain of implementation
Exploitation of another’s fame
Chain of boldness
Steal a jackpot
Inculcate a weak link into attack
Uncover rival’s game
Steal an impact
Drive to a nonsense
Redirection of a blow
Postpone a negative
Save a jackpot
Attracting the attention to an event/information (positive or negative)
Intercept early preferences
Build “small fires”
Deny a reason for attack
Reinforcement of voters’ motivation
Turn on dependency
Unite vs. common enemy
Tie to daily life
Ease of rejection
Who is talking
Halt an experiment
Experience points out a possibility of solving a problem by different principles/stratagems. As a result, we may find additional solutions, or improve prior solutions. To fasten this effect, I developed a “Map for mutual reinforcement of principles”. It provides simple recommendation: once you solved a problem by application of a certain principle, review adjacent principles, connect by line. It is highly probable that you will find additional solutions.
Methodology based on the strategy of formulating IFR and utilization of available resources.
Development of such strategy means the following:
- We make every effort to dispense with resources, present in the system. This prevents additional expenses.
- Any little thing, which is normally left without a notice, may serve as a resource.
- Ideally, any problem or shortcoming should become a supporting resource for a particular solution.
- We employ an image of an ideal candidate and an image of an ideal main rival
All these postulates ring true through application of an algorithm for development of the strategy. Each step results in formulation of the next layer of problems, which must be solved by application of the principles and stratagems.
The figure below illustrates the algorithm.
Validation of the research work
The very first stratagems were developed in 1993. In the ensuing 3 years I was accumulating the materials, necessary for the development of the methodology. In 1998 I published the methodology and started to actively apply it in my work.
Since then, the methodology was successfully applied by my colleagues and I for over 30 political and PR campaigns of different levels. My colleagues and students, as well as people not familiar to me, inform me about successful application of this methodology.
In addition, this methodology was used during PR campaigns for many companies in the fields of advertising, public health service, construction, insurance and publishing.
- S. Faer “The Principles of Strategy and Tactics of a Political Campaign” – “Stolny Grad”, 1998; ISBN 5-89910-003-6
- S. Faer “The Principles of Strategy and Tactics of a Political Campaign” – “Vydavnichny Dim”, 2001; ISBN 966-7752-62-3.
- S. Faer, P. Chuksin – “Stratagems of ideal agriculture”, http://www.triz-profi.com/magazin2.html
- Certification on Level 4 of MATRIZ certification system: Project report “Political campaign of Irina Khamada for State Duma in 1999” – “An incredible triumph owing to TRIZ”
Structure of the thesis
The thesis consists of 45 pages
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The relevance of the research topic
The goals and the tasks of the research
Overview of the known methods
Methods of solutions for stated problem
How the principles are devised
The principles andrulesfor findingpowerful solutions
The criteria fora strongtactic
The method of stratagems
The ranking of principles
The way principles are presented
The short list of principles and stratagems
Principles and stratagems with formulas
Options for systematization of principles and stratagems
The technique of creating the ideal strategy based on available resources
Traditional approaches to the strategy of political campaign
Functional formulation of the strategy
TRIZ approach to the creation of the strategy
The ideal strategy based on available resources
Analysis of the research results and personal contribution of the applicant
Conclusions and recommendations for application
List of papers published on the subject of dissertation