A meeting structure that enables participants to change perspectives on an issue – and thereby coming up with some truth and new ideas, which might have remained submerged.

 Useful for…

  • Visioning of new states and actions
  • Discussing the setup of new projects
  • Challenging the way things are currently done
  • Getting people to speak up in a more critical tone than they would normally have


  • You need groups of ideally 4 people
  • Open space (without tables) is ideal. Chairs are optional

How it is done

  1. Explain the goals of TRIZ and pick an unwanted result (5 Minutes)
  2. Split up into groups of 4 to use the meeting format 124ALL in each of the following three steps, i.e.
    • Work on your own (1 Minute)
    • Discuss with someone else (2 Minutes)
    • Share with the small group (4 Minutes)
    • Let a speaker of the group share the groups finding to all others (5 Minutes e.g.  one Minute per group for a five group crowd)
  3. Create the first list (10 minutes):
    • Ask the participants to “make a list of all you can do to make sure that you achieve the worst result imaginable with respect to your top strategy or objective.”
    • Go Wild!
  4. Create the second list (10 minutes): Ask “Go down this list item by item and ask yourselves, ‘Is there anything that we are currently doing that in any way, shape, or form resembles this item?’ Be brutally honest to make a second list of all your counterproductive activities/programs/procedures.”
    • Be unforgiving!
  5. Find first things to counter the behaviors listed in the second list (10 minutes). Ask: “Go through the items on your second list and decide what first steps will help you stop what you know creates undesirable results?”
    • Be as concrete as you can
    • Determine who else is needed to stop the activity

Follow it up with voting on alternatives, by prioritizing or by diving deeper into some alternatives (by open discussions or any other meeting structure)

Why it works

  • Make it possible to speak the unspeakable
  • Make space for innovation
  • Lay the ground for creative destruction by doing the hard work in a fun way
  • Build trust by acting all together to remove barriers


  • Step one: Do not pick the unwanted results yourself. Instead, let the group choose the unwanted results in a brainstorming session, for example
  • Follow-up Triz by
    • selecting actions (for example by voting)
    • Drilling down on some actions (for example by discussions or other meeting formats)


This form of TRIZ, a meeting structure, I attribute to Keith Candles and Henri Lipmanovic. They gathered a host of meeting structures at Liberating Structures.

Useful Links

Liberating Structures description of TRIZ 

The historical background of TRIZ.

Fun fact

The inventor of TRIZ, Genrich Altschuller, has been “Inventions Inspector” in the Soviet Caspian Fleet in 1948. After he invented TRIZ he came up with many things that he believed erroneous in decisions made by Comrade Stalin and put it in a letter. He was sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment in a Siberian Gulag.