Imagine That! Celebrating 50 years of Synectics



The Imagine That! book is a collection of thought pieces, stories and articles by current and former staff members, clients and other associates that celebrates the first 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). Synectics was first described by W.J.J. Gordon in his book SYNECTICS, The Development of Creative Capacity (New York 1960, Harper and Row). In 1960 Gordon and his colleagues George Prince, Dick Sperry and Carl Marden set up a company, Synectics Inc., to focus on the discoveries they had been making about the process of invention as they worked together in The Invention Design Group of the established Arthur D. Little consulting company. In the subsequent 50 years, the Synectics Body of Knowledge has taken on a life of its own, as staff members and clients began to use it in a wide variety of ways and applications that took it far beyond its origins in creativity and invention in the business world.

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About the Author

Connie Williams is a General Managing Partner, CMO and Synectics’ Chief Knowledge Officer, responsible for leading “Innovation on Innovation” — building and codifying knowledge that advances innovation processes to build competitive advantage for clients. She developed the proprietary Synectics model for developing Consumer and Customer Insight and leads that client practice area for Insight-led Innovation, frequently speaking on Insight and Innovation at conferences and client meetings. Connie is a marketing veteran who previously served in a number of senior marketing and new brand development positions at Heublein/IDV (now Diageo PLC) and, earlier in her career, at a major New York-based global advertising agency. Connie applies her consulting expertise in creative consumer discovery to eliciting new and profound Insights for client applications such as developing new products, creatively solving complex issues, marketing strategy and brand communication. She was named an Altran Fellow, recognizing her work as one of the leading consultants in a network of over 16,000 professionals. She is an NLP practitioner and she designs and leads clients in workshop programs designed to help advance client creative and consumer Insight skills. Her client work has included Energizer, Gillette, WellPoint, Bacardi, Hartford Life and Subway. Connie recently co-edited a book, Imagine That, Celebrating Fifty Years of Synectics, a retrospective of the set of highly specific innovation techniques and behaviors that help individuals and teams work together in creative ways that are positive and action-oriented. Additionally the work of Synecticsworld and Connie, specifically, is featured in a chapter entitled “Metaphor and Innovation” in a recently published book by the prominent author, James Geary called I is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes Our World. Connie grew up in Southern California and received her B.A. at U.C. Irvine in History and Anthropology and her M.B.A. from U.C.L.A. in Marketing and Labor Relations. She now lives in Hartford, Connecticut with her husband, Tom Foote, an education consultant and has two young adult children, Paul and Sarah. She lives in a lovingly-restored Victorian “castle” in Hartford and enjoys cooking, kayaking at their lake cottage in Litchfield County, jazz and sports. She misses being a “hockey mom” and roots for the Boston Red Sox and UConn Women’s basketball teams.

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