Blog Basic Tenet of Structured Innovation

All systems evolve toward increased ideality. A good example of an idealistic thinker was Leonardo da Vinci. He had the unique ability to push himself away from working on what existed to envisioning things well beyond his time.

Ideality is defined as: The function is performed without the existence of the system that contains the problem(s). This definition implies that we get everything we want (function, i.e., what something does) without any of the costs, pains or penalties associated with the current system. This definition pushes us “out of the box while giving us direction. The direction being to replace the system that contains the problem(s) with a system that does what we want much better.

Ideality exists at different levels: 1) global (or strategic); and 2) local (or tactical).

  1. At a strategic level, one might say that automobiles contain a number of problems associated with fuel efficiency, pollution, etc. so we should find a way to perform the function of transportation of people and material goods without the use of the automobile.
  2. At a tactical level, one might say that to achieve fuel efficiency we need to reduce the weight of a specific component of the automobile. In this case, ideality would be defined as the function performed by the component is performed without its existence. To achieve this, one might look at how another part of the system could be used to perform the function by combining the component with another part of the system. While combining, redundancies in material mass and supporting components might be reduced resulting is weight reduction and cost reduction.