What is Synectics and how to use this creative method?

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Synectics, translated from the Greek word "synectikos", means "to connect different things". It is the stimulation of mental activity through free associations, connecting elements into a whole.

William JJ Gordon, the pioneer of this method, believes that the main source of creativity is hidden in the search for analogues.

Advantages of the method:

  • Synectics creates the ability to live together with complexity and contradictions.
  • Synectics encourages creativity.
  • Synectics combines divergent and convergent thinking.
  • The research method is examined in detail and the problem is identified.

Tasks to be solved by the group using the Synectics method:

  • Encourage group members to actively listen to each other.
  • Appoint a neutral chairman.
  • Use analogy and verbal associations.
  • If possible, involve the client in the work.


1. Definition of the problem

Before starting to use the Synectics method, it is necessary to change the approach to solving the problem. First, define the problem with the question "HOW?". For example: "I don't have time to read", change it to "How can I change my schedule so that I can take up this book?".

In order to start solving the problem, the following plan should be created: 

  1. A clear problem.
  2. Why is this a problem for you or the customer?
  3. Have you tried thinking or doing something to solve this problem?
  4. What is the ideal solution?

2. Purpose

This step encourages free thinking. Problem solving groupyou are asked to find out forMarch wishes. Desires can be very abstract, simple, but they can also be complex. It is important that the customer expresses them.

Sometimes a mediator (a neutral person) can "put his wishes in", this can be done if the group needs more creativity and playfulness.

The main goal is to generate creative, useful and attractive ways of solving the problem. These solutions aren't final, but they're a great starting point from which to move forward.

The starting point is wishes, ideas, metaphors and an alternative approach to the problem.

3. Selection

A neutral person asks the customer if there are generated ideas that satisfy him. Ideas can be merged from the generated list of ideas. Synectics forces one to divert one's mind from a decision.

The main task is to direct your thoughts to the "impossible world", cancel the laws of gravity, fantasize and relate it to the problem at hand.

The problem solving team is asked to forget the idea and concentrate on the wishes expressed by the customer. The group has to imagine a world, for example: an underwater world, and everyone has to get involved as much as possible and imagine that they live in it.

…Then try to imagine how the wish expressed by the customer would exist in that fake world. The colors, the image, all the aspects that come to mind. Unfortunately, it has to end and the team returns to the main problem and offers ideas they came up with while in the "fake world". After this process, the next one, the joining process, begins.

Ideas are a listohms on the sheet and trying to connect. After that, one or more possible ideas that can solve the problem are chosen.

4. Details

After the selected ideas are examined, it is necessary to show them to the customer in order to choose the right ones for him. Then the pluses and minuses are discussed with the customer, they are written on a sheet.

5. Grinding the idea

After the fourth step, the customer expresses what worries her and what can possibly be adjusted in the decision itself. Then the idea is "polished" until it satisfies the client.

This, in essence, is Synectics.

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