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Syntactics is a problem solving method that may be unaware. This method was developed by George M. Prince (April 5, 1918 – June 9, 2009) [1] and William JJ Gordon , originating in the Arthur D. Little Invention Design Unit in the 1950s.


The process Was derived from tape-recording (INITIALLY audio , later video ) meetings, analysis of the results and experiments with alternative ways of dealing with the obstacles to success in the rally. “Success” was defined as a creative solution that was committed to implement.

The name Synecics comes from the Greek and means “the joining together of different and apparently irrelevant elements.” [2]

Gordon and Prince named both their practice and their new company Syntactics, which can cause confusion in the workplace. While the name has been trademarked, it has become a standard word for describing creative problem solving in groups. [3]


Syntactics is a way to approach creativity and problem-solving in a rational way. “Traditionally, the creative process has been considered after the fact … The Synectics study in vivo, while it is going on.” [4]

According to Gordon, Synectics research has three main assumptions:

  • The creative process can be described and taught;
  • Invention processes in the arts and sciences are analogous and are driven by the same “psychic” processes;
  • Individual and group creativity are analogous. [5]

With these assumptions in mind, Synectics believes that people can be better at being creative.

One important element in creativity is embracing the seemingly irrelevant . Emotion is emphasized over the intellect and the irrational over the rational . Through understanding the emotional and irrational elements of a problem or idea, a group can be more successful at solving a problem. [6]

Prince emphasized the importance of creative behavior in reducing inhibitions and releasing the inherent creativity of everyone. It is important to ensure that their constructive intentions are experienced positively by one another. The use of the creative behavior tools extends to the application of constructive constructs of conflict.

Gordon emphasized the importance of ” ‘metaphorical process’ to make the familiar strange and the strange familiar”. He believes his central principle is: “Trust things that are alien, and alienate things that are trusted.” This encourages, on the one hand, fundamental problem-analysis and, on the other hand, the alienation of the original problem through the creation of analogies . It is possible for new and surprising solutions to emerge.

As an invention tool, Synectics invented a technique called “springboarding” for creative starting ideas. For the development of beginning ideas, the method incorporates brainstorming and deepens and widens it with metaphor ; it also adds an important evaluation process for Idea Development, which takes the form of embryonic new ideas that are attractive and not yet feasible and builds them up.

Syntactics is more demanding of the subject than brainstorming , as the steps involved imply that the process is more complicated and requires more time and effort. The success of the Synectics methodology is highly facilitated . [7]


  • The Practice of Creativity: A Manual for Dynamic Group Problem-Solving. George M. Prince , 2012, Vermont: Echo Point Books & Media, LLC , 0-9638-7848-4
  • The Practice of Creativity by George Prince 1970
  • Syntics: The Development of Creative Capacity by WJJ Gordon, London, Collier-MacMillan, 1961
  • Design Synectics: Stimulating Creativity in Design by Nicholas Roukes, Published by Davis Publications, 1988
  • The Innovators Handbook by Vincent Nolan 1989
  • Creativity Inc .: Building an Inventive Organization by Jeff Mauzy and Richard Harriman 2003
  • Imagine That! by Vincent Nolan and Connie Williams, Publishers Graphics, LLC, 2010

See also

  • List of thought processes


  1. Jump up^ George Prince, consultant who sparked innovation, founded international firm, Boston Globe , June 21, 2009
  2. Jump up^ Gordon, William JJSynectics: The Development of Creative Capacity. (New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1961), 3).
  3. Jump up^ Nolan, Vincent. “Whatever Happened to Synectics?” Creativity and Innovation Management, v. 21 n.1 (2003): 25.
  4. Jump up^ Gordon, 3
  5. Jump up^ Gordon, 5.
  6. Jump up^ Gordon, 6.
  7. Jump up^ Michael J. Dick,High Tech Creativity,IEEEEngineers’ Guide to Business, pp. 117-8, 1992