Innovation and creativity: Synectics and other methods
Table of Contents
Creativity is very important in innovation processes. However, it should be addressed with discipline and a clear goal: the resolution of a specific problem. To that end, I present 3 other techniques that help to organize the processes of generation of ideas.
It is a creative problem-solving technique developed by William J. J. Gordon. “It tries to make conscious the unconscious mechanisms of creativity” *. This technique emphasizes metaphor, imagery, emotion and energy.
According to Vincent Nolan in an article for Synectics World, Synectics widens and deepens the process of suspending judgement in a variety of ways:
The goal is to find new courses of action to be implemented. Its implementation is ensured as the person involved in its execution will choose them.
In order to achieve it, two clear strategies are used:
- Making the strange familiar
- Making the familiar strange
Making the strange familiar is a purely analytical strategy. Where:
Making the familiar strange to distort the day-to-day world and get a new view of reality. This will alter our perceptions. Several techniques are used to this end:
In a Synectics session, the group shall be made up of 5 to 7 persons, with a wide range of skills and knowledge, besides being creative. It is integrated by a leader, an expert and the participants. The sessions should last approximately 2 hours.
It is used in the field of advertising, product design, research and technology. It can work both individually and in group. However, a good group work has more advantages.
This method developed by Fritz Zwicky tries to solve problems through the analysis and breakdown of their parts. It isolates each element of the problem to make combinations among them, see their feasibility and explore all the possibilities.
It is just a generation of ideas based on a matrix.
The Morphological Analysis has 3 stages:
The Delphi method
It is a method that was developed by Rand Corporation, and it is an analysis and problem-solving method rather than a creative one. It presents a problem to a group of subject matter experts in order to provide solutions.
It is a group work, but without the participants working together, knowing each other or communicating with each other. Everything is done through a coordinator. The group is made up of a coordinator and the experts.
The coordinator communicates with each expert by email, phone or other means. His/her main task is to collect the answers, summarize them, cluster them and send them to the others. In addition to filtering and seeking consensus among the alternatives proposed by the experts.
This method is mainly used for trend analysis and market prediction. It is also used in the fields of health care and education.
It is not just about the method
There are more techniques that help to solve problems creatively such as the Synapse, the List of Attributes, Triz or the Nominal group.
It isn’t only about the technique used but to know how to take advantage of them and integrate them to achieve successful innovations.
In our article “Brainstorming and Six Thinking Hats: Creativity to innovate” we explain 2 of the most famous creative methods.
- * Métodos creativos para organizaciones – Alfredo Muñoz Adánes, Ediciones Pirámide. Page 34.
- ** Métodos creativos para organizaciones – Alfredo Muñoz Adánes, Ediciones Pirámide. Page 86.
References and links:
- Métodos creativos para organizaciones – Alfredo Muñoz Adánes, 2006, Ediciones Pirámide.
- Técnicas de creatividad en Innovación y creatividad by Wiki EOI.
- Synectics as a Creative Problem Solving (CPS) System by Vincent Nolan in Synectics World