ISSN 2050-5337 - ISSUE 6            Find us in EBSCOhost Academic Search Ultimate Collection

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Tuesday, 04 September 2012 12:35

Imagine THAT! - Celebrating 50 years of Synectics

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Caroline and I first met George Prince in the middle of a New England railway track (he collected us from a station halt). Welcoming us into his home, he told us about the origins of Synectics and his then latest project, MindFree. With its powerful use of metaphor, Synectics had long intrigued us, but at that time we knew very little about it apart from reading Bill Gordon's book, Synectics, so we were grateful for the opportunity to meet one its founders.

This book is dedicated to the work of George Prince who co-founded Synectics Inc. with his colleagues, William J. J. Gordon, Dick Sperry and Carl Marden. Synectics is a powerful means of developing creativity which was first described by Bill Gordon in his book, Synectics: The Development of Creative Capacity, published in 1960 in New York by Harper & Row.

Imagine THAT! is a mine of information on the progress of Synectics from its origins in the Invention Design Group of the Arthur D Little consulting company right up to the present day. It also covers what is involved in Synectics in an entirely practical sense. This book is usefully arranged in a series of sections including the Synectics body of knowledge, Synectics in business, education, personal and community development. The final section focuses on how Synectics might evolve in the future.

As the editors suggest, this is a book to dip into rather than to read from cover to cover. It is varied in terms of content and includes historical material, stories from current activities as well as George Prince's own material. There is an interesting range of 42 topics. Examples include the educational tradition in Synectics, Synectics in marketing, parenting, conflict resolution, and crime reduction. Contributors have been encouraged to speak with their own voices and in their own styles. This variety makes for a lively read.

It is edited by Vincent Nolan and Connie Williams. Vincent is the retired Chair of Synectics Europe, who introduced Synectics to the UK and whom we are fortunate to have on our international Review Panel. Vincent has also been instrumental in enabling us to showcase one of George Prince's articles in this issue and he is actively involved in Creativity Live! Connie is Synecticsworld's Chief Knowledge Officer, who has for the past few years led the Synecticsworld practice areas in Consumer and Customer Insight and New Product Development and she has an impressive background in marketing.

This book, which is available as a free digital download from Synecticsworld Inc. is highly recommended.

Dr Marilyn Fryer

Marilyn is a Director of the Creativity Centre UK Ltd, and Chief Executive of the Creativity Centre Educational Trust - a voluntary role. A chartered psychologist and author, her work has been presented and published internationally.

Marilyn enjoys talking about creativity education in the UK. This was the theme of her keynote presentations at the Annual Meeting of the Japanese Association of Educational Psychology in Shizuoka, Japan; the Torrance Lecture Series, Athens, Georgia; and the International Forum on Creativity at the opening of the Nobel Prize Centennial Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur where she was also a panel member for Forging the Creative Agenda for Malaysia. Marilyn has also undertaken consultancy on the development of creativity for various government bodies in the UK and overseas.

Before co-founding the Creativity Centre with Caroline, Marilyn spent much of her career in the university sector undertaking research and teaching creativity education, developmental and cognitive psychology. At Leeds Metropolitan University, where she was Reader in Psychology, she set up the cross-university Centre for Innovation and Creativity (CIC) as well as devising and delivering a series of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in applied creativity, supervising research and undertaking her own research into creativity in education.

One of the things Marilyn most enjoys is meeting people from all over the world and collaborating with them to create publications and learning resources in the area of creativity and human development, which is one reason why she enjoys being an editor of this journal.
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