created by the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council
Activities for Transforming Teams
and Igniting Change
ATTIC is a collection of tools, games, and activities to inspire innovation, teamwork and engagement in health care settings.

Interactive Triz

TRIZ is an acronym that stands for a Russian phrase: “Teoriya Resheniya Izobretatelskikh Zadatch.” In English, this translates into “Inventive Theory of Problem Solving.” The basic idea behind a TRIZ is to put a critical lens on thinking about how to create a system or process that is designed to fail. An Interactive TRIZ is acting out all of the ways a system or process can possibly fail due to individual or team behaviours and communication.

Download Activity Worksheet

  • 30-45 minutes
  • Groups of 5-12
  • A safe space to act without disrupting others

  • Source: Adapted from Liberating Structures

What to do

  1. Divide participants into groups.
  2. In each group, decide on a topic you would like to act out. Remember that your TRIZ is about how to get unwanted results. For example, a TRIZ question could be: How will we ensure a patient and/or their family members feel as unwelcome as possible coming into our unit?
  3. Divide your group in two and decide which half will be actors, and which half will be observers.
  4. Define which acting role each actor will have (e.g. patient, nurse, doctor, unit clerk, family member, etc.)
  5. Before starting, reflect on some actions, behaviours, or traits that will ensure an unwanted result.
  6. Act out all of the things each assigned role can do to achieve the unwanted result. Be creative! Be extreme! Make yourself laugh!
  7. Debrief as a team (sample questions on back of card). Allow observers to provide feedback and provide an opportunity to suggest things that could ensure even more unwanted results.
  8. Switch positions, and allow the observers to now become actors. However, this time the group will ensure 100% of the time that they get the desired result! They will paint a picture of the ideal, reliable, and safe system.
  9. Again, debrief as a team (sample questions on back of card). Allow the observers to provide feedback and create the opportunity for them to suggest things, phrases, or behaviours that could ensure desired results are achieved more often.


Debriefing (100% unwanted behaviors):

  • Are we actually currently doing any of the unwanted things, even if only in a minor way or a small percentage of the time?
  • Is there anything that we never EVER do?
  • What actions can we commit to avoiding altogether?
  • What can we commit to doing?

Debriefing (100% desired behaviors):

  • Are there one or two ideas that emerged from this exercise that we can really focus on as a team?
  • What will we do to avoid unwanted behaviour and role model desired actions and behaviours?
  • What strategies and support can we use as a team to embed the desired actions in our day-to-day work?
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