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Have a look below at this brand new video from Synectics Education Initiative. 'Build - Don't Criticise' is Part One of a series of videos currently being developed.

Thanks to our Review Panel member Vincent Nolan for sharing this with us.

Published in News and Events

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.

Published in Book Reviews
Tuesday, 02 October 2012 11:23

Robert Alan Black

In 1976 Alan received a letter about his oldest son, Jeff, qualifying for Gifted Education. Later that month the principal of Jeff's elementary school spoke to Alan one night at a PTA meeting, 'I have some children, some money and a room. Do you have any time Mr Black?' That one question more than changed Alan's life over the past 36 years. He went on to work on four degrees in education, completing and receiving diplomas in two to add to his three previous degrees in design.

Since the age of 16 Alan has been working in pursuit of a variety of professional passions. The longest one has been as an international workplace creativity consultant through speaking, consulting, teaching and facilitating. Among his 48 jobs in the past 52 years are: licensed architect, interior designer, graphics and signage designer, freelance cartoonist and writer, college professor at three different universities since 1980:

  • University of Georgia Art Dept. and School of Environmental Design (four years)
  • Columbus State University – Leadership Development (15 years)
  • Drexel University Goodwin College – Creative Thinking online courses about the History of Creativity and Creativity Tools.

His travels have taken him to 49 of the 50 American States and 84 countries where he has spoken and worked in most of them attempting to S.P.R.E.A.D. creative thinking throughout entire workplaces, from individuals to teams to departments to entire organizations. Since 1978 Alan has presented at and participated in over 150 creativity conferences, institutes and workshops around the globe on six continents. This includes the Creative Education Foundation's Creative Problem Solving Institute, USA (CPSI) for 30 years and ACRE in South Africa for 15 years.

Alan created his M.I.N.D. Design thinking style instrument based upon his doctoral dissertation (a study into the matching of teaching and learning styles - based on thinking styles, to teach creative thinking skills and tools). Over 400,000 people have completed an MD in the past 30 years. Several companies, consultants, professors and teachers have used it or continue to use it under contract. His book BROKEN CRAYONS: Break Your Crayons and Draw Outside the Lines has been published in the USA, Turkey, Slovenia and South Africa and translated into Turkish, Slovenian and Japanese.

Since 1980, he has published over 600 articles on leadership, communication, teamwork and creative thinking in the workplace. As well as his own books, he has co-authored several others in the USA, the UK and South Africa. His work also includes blogs, newsletters, ezines and weekly Alan's Cre8ng Challenges which began in January 1997.

Published in Authors

Eletrobrás is the Brazilian government state company responsible for electrical energy efficiency and they offer several energy efficiency programs. One of these programs helps small municipalities reduce consumption of electricity and improve the energy efficiency of operations that use electricity. Until 2004, this program followed an approach that failed to meet the company's targets for improvement, and thus a new approach was proposed. This paper reports on the successful implementation by Eletrobrás of a creative process in 43 small municipalities. The results show that both the municipalities and their inhabitants managed to reduce consumption as a result of the new approach. The municipal employees – people with varying but often low schooling – felt their self-esteem increase as they solved problems and taught their clients to save energy.

Published in Business

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.

Published in Creativity Development
Page 2 of 3

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