Imagine That! is a collection of thought pieces, stories, and articles by current and former staff members, clients and other associates that guides readers through 50 years of Synectics, its Body of Knowledge and its impact on clients, organizations, communities and individuals. It was edited by Connie Williams, General Managing Partner and Chief Knowledge Officer of Synecticsworld and Vincent Nolan, retired Chairman of Synectics Europe and author of many other books, including The Innovator’s Handbook (Sphere Books, 1989).


The below article is a taken from a chapter of Imagine That!

A Visual Overview of the Synectics Invention Model

Adapted by Vincent Nolan and Connie Williams

Paradoxically, organizations thrive by repeating what they do well, but they can only survive in  the long term by adapting to the changing environment. The two types of activities, running an efficient operation and innovating in areas such as strategy, processes and new products require different ways of thinking and behaving – operational thinking vs. innovation thinking modes. As Synectics co-founder Bill Gordon said, “The ultimate solutions to problems are rational; the process of thinking of them is not.”

The developmental cycle of the innovation mode requires creative thinking to produce new ideas and processes, which need to be tested and developed before they can be moved into the organization’s routine activities of the operational world. The originality of the creative thinking is enhanced by Synectics use of its Spectrum of Thinking, especially metaphor and apparent irrelevance, and the Excursion technique, which allows one to get away from the problem, generate new associative material and connect back to the issue, with fresh ideas….

To read the remainder of the article download the full version here
Hard copies of the beautiful “magazine style” book can be ordered from Synecticsworld for $39.95 by contacting Mandy Fleming or order directly from Publisher’s Graphics, LLC.

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