Results of the 1996 and 2000
Moldovan Presidential Elections
Proseanic and Svetlana Visnepolschi
Presented at TRIZCON
2002 in April 2002.
specifics of TRIZ election consulting
2. Ideal Ultimate Result and conceptual
3. Creating the bi-system
4. Applying the Anticipatory Failure
Determination (AFD) method
About the Authors
This paper discusses some results of
applying TRIZ during the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections in Moldova.
The authors were involved in the 1996 election campaign as a group of
decision makers supporting two candidates (one of whom won the election in
1996; the other won in 2000). In 1996, TRIZ tools and methods were applied
in a presidential election campaign for the first time.
A few selected problems and recommended
solutions presented in our
previous paper address this same topic. In this article, however, we
will discuss how TRIZ was applied to running the campaign of two
candidates at the same time. Also discussed is the impact that similar
TRIZ tools have on different personalities.
1. Some specifics of TRIZ election
In 1996 the authors and their colleagues,
Dr. V. Timoschenco and Dr. V. Oleynikov, organized a consulting group to
apply TRIZ tools to the presidential election campaign in Moldova. The
leader of the group, Vladimir Proseanic, was experienced in both TRIZ
problem solving and TRIZ management, which was a unique combination of
knowledge in that field. (Mr. Proseanic was CEO of the first professional
TRIZ company from 1986 to 1997.)
At that time TRIZ was more or less known to
Russian engineers; however, it was entirely unknown to politicians 
. Considering the high rank of our potential customers, we did not have
the opportunity to explain TRIZ methods to them directly. On the contrary,
any attempt to present to them something unique and unknown to the Western
world would only be met with criticism and rejection. Moreover, we
realized that the results of our work would be judged on the basis of
common sense, not on the basis of the paradoxical TRIZ philosophy.
Therefore, we were obliged to keep the theory to ourselves and deliver
"pure" solutions only.
There is another important aspect related
to consulting for high-ranking politicians. Because the client should
accept your recommendations directly (rather than through intermediaries),
each solution concept must satisfy the following criteria:
- Complete elimination of the problem
- Plain description (no specific
- The entire document, no matter what it
includes, should not exceed two-thirds of a page in large print.
Otherwise, it would immediately be consigned with other "very
important papers" … forever!
- The solution(s) should consider
completely the abilities (resources!) and intentions (resources!) of
But there was good news about election
consulting. As every TRIZ specialist knows, all TRIZ consulting projects
– whether technological or business-related – are associated with a
significant drawback: once the project is finished, we seldom receive
feedback from the customer. And without information regarding a customer’s
utilization of our solutions, we must estimate the effectiveness of our
work indirectly using such statements as "the customer is
happy," "the customer gives us good references," or
"the customer awarded us another project." In the best case, the
customer’s success increases after our consulting. This fact, however,
can not exclude the possibility that the customer simply started working
harder under competitive pressure.
The critical features of election
- rapid application of solutions
- visibility of results
Accepted recommendations can be implemented
within weeks or even days, and are often evident in the mass media.
Therefore, we could observe directly how our solutions were used and
thereby determine their effectiveness in the real world.
Due to various circumstances, our customers
for the 1996 election often chose to implement our solutions only
partially. We were also surprised to observe that some of our solutions
were implemented against our recommendations. More astonishing was the
fact that these solutions were successful anyway due to the high systemic
(excessive) nature of TRIZ solutions. No doubt such successes were due in
part to the fact that the opposing candidates had nothing comparable to
the solutions that TRIZ offered.
Ultimate Result and conceptual
We offered our services to two of the three
main candidates. One rejected our offer because he considered himself
strong enough to win without special decision-making support. And indeed,
public opinion for him was unanimous. Moreover, he had confidant advisers
who didn’t want competition from "outsiders." The other
candidate accepted our offer because at the beginning of the campaign he
had strong doubts as to his prospects for winning.
Within two weeks we received another
request, from the candidate who was ranked as least likely to win. This
candidate had only recently appeared on the political scene and
represented an unpopular political party – he was therefore not taken
seriously by the general public. After careful consideration we decided to
accept the request as legally and morally appropriate, due to:
- The country’s two-stage election
procedure and the different campaign goals of our customers. In other
words, they were not directly competing against each other.
- The two candidates had no reason to
collaborate due to differences in their political platforms.
Collaboration would only reduce the popularity of both candidates.
Thus we had the opportunity to compare how
different personalities apply analogical TRIZ solutions.
We started by creating a conceptual model
for each candidate's staff. (Later, we confirmed that such a model should
be created at the onset of any management procedure – election campaign,
business establishment, reorganization, etc.) The first step in creating
the model was to formulate the Ideal Ultimate Result (IUR) of the election
campaign for each candidate and for his/her staff. When formulating the
IUR, we took into consideration the political plans of the candidate and
of his supporting political movement, as well as his/her professional and
personal intentions and hopes. Simply stated, the IUR in an election need
not be the presidency and may sufficiently differ from the goal indicated
by the candidate.
If, however, the candidate does not accept
the suggested IUR or comprehends it differently, it is highly unlikely
that his opinion can be changed. In such situations reason would dictate
that the consultant refrain from grand expectations for this election
On the basis of the formulated IUR, a
functional model of the staff was created (Figure 1).
The functional model included only those
functions necessary and sufficient to achieve the IUR. The analysis of the
functions allows for the creation of a simple structural model (Figure 2)
that satisfies the following criteria:
- no more than three subordination levels
- every function is charged to a specific
- every team member receives a list of
- all key people know where to obtain
information and have direct contact with the staff leader
The structural model was received by the
candidates in different ways. Candidate A didn't want to accept it at
first, but with time and under pressure from his regional staff, his team
understood the necessity of the model. Candidate B simply said
"okay" and started entering specific names into the diagram
boxes. (It can be said that candidate B’s staff, having fewer resources
by far, worked much more effectively.)
As a rule, the right structure can resolve
many additional problems. The most important one is that the
functional-structural model (in addition to the Patterns of System
Evolution) can become an analytical tool for the short-term prediction of
the campaign’s evolution:
Using published information (newspaper
articles and digests) it is easy to identify which structural elements
in the opponent's staff function poorly or don't exist at all. In this
way we can try to predict the opponent's next steps, then take these
into consideration when planning the actions to be undertaken by our
Creating the bi-system
A key conflict we revealed and resolved at
the beginning of the election campaign was the contradiction that existed
between the intentions of several candidates. In particular, candidate D,
the strong centrist leader, expected to gain the complete support of the
liberal forces during the first stage of the campaign. In his opinion, the
left-wing candidates should withdraw from the election on his behalf. The
other candidates had their own plans, however.
The typical evolution of such a conflict
during an election often leads to increased pressure on one side and a
confrontational reaction on the other side. According to the Patterns of
System Evolution, competing systems can often be combined. We therefore
suggested that instead of fighting these conflicts, a method of indirect
interaction based on the principle "Bi-system with shifted
properties" be employed. The main idea was the following:
The pre-election actions of a
"bi-system" (composed of Candidate D and the left-wing
candidate, for example) should add to and amplify each other, while the
specific political direction of each candidate should be maintained.
This would effectively prepare the public
for the union of these candidates in the second stage of the election.
The main benefit of the "Bi-system
with shifted properties" type of collaboration is that it allows the
interests of both participants to be maintained naturally. Moreover, this
kind of system gives enables every participant to most effectively use
his/her resources and present the candidate to the electorate in the most
natural and attractive way.
The suggested scheme included a list of
main properties for which special changes ("shifts") had been
introduced. As time went on, we kept on adding to this list based on new
information received, new actions required, and changes to the staff.
EXAMPLE: Determining the order in
which candidates visit various regions
To arrange the tour schedule for both
candidates in the bi-system model, these steps should be followed:
- Divide the map of the country or region
into sections according to the main political preferences of the
majority of the population.
- Plan the routes for the "left"
candidate starting with the areas where the electorate is most
skeptical. During those visits, the "left" candidate may
strictly criticize right-wing politicians. Expressive and sincere
speech effectively destroys the opponents' positions while activating
a part of the electorate.
- Plan the routes for the moderate
candidate, who is a proponent of positive ideas, so that he/she
arrives next at the above-mentioned region. This will maximize the
success of his/her presentation.
- Take into consideration that in the
left-oriented regions the moderate candidate might perform his actions
before the left candidate.
4. Applying the Anticipatory
Failure Determination (AFD) method
Most of the problems connected with
undesirable phenomena had been solved by applying the Anticipatory Failure
Determination (AFD) method. At the time the first prototype (in Russian)
of the AFD software existed and was effectively utilized. Two examples of
the AFD process were presented in [Reference 3].
The experience gained showed us that TRIZ
could be successfully applied under conditions that are often considered
- to a wide variety of
- with uneducated customers, who moreover
are unwilling to be educated
- with solution concepts required each
week (sometimes more often)
- with presentations limited to one page
and without verbal comments
The same TRIZ tools applied to similar
problems, but for different users, will likely yield different solutions.
However, when a solution is implemented – either partially, contrary to
recommendations, or in an otherwise unsuitable way, the implementation can
provide visible, effective results, because:
- a good TRIZ solution is highly reliable
- other competitors lack such solutions
(compromised though they might be)
When considering whether to offer
consulting services to a politician, it is probably unwise to rely
exclusively on political preferences (both yours and the candidate’s).
Rather, to effectively implement the kind of non-trivial solutions
obtainable with TRIZ tools, the following characteristics are much more
important in a politician:
- Willingness to accept new ideas and to
learn in general
- Ability to work hard and to effectively
manage the work of others
- Self-criticism, strong character and
morals (especially an intolerance to lies)
It is not necessary for the TRIZ consulting
group to become part of a candidate’s team. Indeed, it is more effective
to maintain an independent position, avoiding involvement in the
traditional intrigues of the election process.
In the first stage of election campaign
(assuming a two-stage election system), you may consult several candidates
at once. This will allow you to more effectively apply the TRIZ tools as
well as compare the results.
Conduct that is wrong in principle -- and
sometimes dangerous -- is the following:
- Concealing the knowledge of your
collaboration with one candidate from your other customers
- Using confidential information received
from one staff against any other politician during the election
campaign, or afterwards
- Consulting direct political opponents at
the same time
The authors would like to thank their
colleagues Dr. Victor Timoschenko and Dr. Vladimir Oleinikov, who were
members of the consulting team and worked on the project together with the
- TRIZ in Progress; Transactions of the
Ideation Research Group, Ideation International Inc., 1999.
- "Examples of the Election
Stratagems in Israel," Jacob Skir, TRIZ Journal (www.triz-journal.com),
March and April, 2000.
Elects a President," Vladimir Proseanic and Svetlana
Visnepolschi (first published in the April, 2000 issue of the TRIZ Journal
Proseanic received an MS in
mechanics from Kishinev Polytechnic Institute, Moldova in 1979. He became
a student of Genrich Altshuller, the founder of TRIZ, in 1981, and was
later one of the founders of the Kishinev TRIZ school. He was CEO of the
Kishinev company Progress, the first company to provide professional TRIZ
services. Mr. Proseanic has solved more than 1000 innovative problems for
various industries and is one of the most experienced TRIZ professionals
in applying TRIZ to business and management problems. Mr. Proseanic
managed several projects involving the application of TRIZ to solving
problems in banking (including information protection systems and
decision-making support for revealing prospective investment directions).
He was the manager in the application of TRIZ to decision-making
consulting in an election campaign. Mr. Proseanic is a winner of the
Soviet Union's National awards in science and innovation; he has 15 SU
author certificates and has authored numerous publications. He is
currently a project manager and one of the leading consultants for
Visnepolschi received an MS in
electronics from the Leningrad Institute of Precision Mechanics and Optics
in 1976. She became a student of Genrich Altshuller, the founder of TRIZ,
in 1983. One of her early contributions to TRIZ is the creation of a
working algorithm for TRIZ resources (together with B. Zlotin). She later
pioneered various projects in the application of TRIZ prediction methods
to the development of both industrial systems and businesses, including
the Moscow Stock and Commodity Exchange and the election campaign. Ms.
Visnepolschi has taught TRIZ for more than 15 years and has authored a
book and numerous publications. Since 1985, she has developed and applied
the TRIZ-based Anticipatory Failure Determination (AFD) methodology. Since
1997, she has been a project manager for Ideation International and the
designer of Ideation's AFD System software.