So what is a production bottleneck? It is a scenario confounded by contradictory requirements. The resolution of contradictions lies at the core of all great innovation. So what is a contradiction? As one characteristic of a system (e.g. a process) is improved, another characteristic is degraded. Example, productivity is often based on the speed of production equipment and sometimes a machine ends up being the bottleneck that results in slower production. But as you try to increase the speed of the bottleneck machine quality degrades. Restating the contradiction: As productivity is improve quality degrades. What’s interesting is that this is what I refer to as the ‘language of meetings’; it’s the way we have learned to talk about problems. And, there is a hidden reality. The way we talk results in making the problem more difficult to solve. This contradiction was stated in terms of what I call a complex contradiction, two characteristics (productivity and quality) in opposition to each other. The key to being able to solve a complex contradiction is to understand what is hidden inside it. Structured approaches to innovation provide step-by-step procedures for dealing with complex contradictions by converting them to simple and then using a set of historically sound principles (separation principles) to resolve the contradiction. #Innovation should be fun and lead to the profitability we need… there should never be an inability to solve a manufacturing problem or any other area of business.