The Psychology of Quality and More

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Synectics is the name of a Creativity technique, originated in the early 1960s by W. J. J. Gordon and extended in the early 1970s by George Prince.

The Synectics approach is mostly done with 'brainstorming'-type teams and uses several methods to overcome the limitations of brainstorming, including:

  • Problem owner: Only one person in the group owns the problem; others are there to help only.

  • Springboarding: Using 'I wish...' and other wording to trigger thoughts in other people.

  • Headlining: Giving ideas up-front with no prior explanation.

  • Excursions: Doing side-exercises to stimulate new creative thinking when ideas run out (e.g. using metaphors).

  • Itemized response: Plusses-and-minuses approach to solution evaluation.

It also slows down the creative process, dallying in the 'wild idea' stage before getting down to more feasible solutions.


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