Applying the 21 Synectics Steps The need for thinking and problem-solving skills dominates our lives. Individuals must analyze problems in the workplace, at school, as a parent, and in many other daily situations. You have an opportunity to practice your problem-solving skills through this assignment. Assignment : Select one problem from the following list or define your own problem. Design a new textbook for a psychology class, science class, etc. Invent a new telephone. Design a new suitcase. Design new clothes for soldier/teacher/cook/student/ etc. Invent a new style for a video game. Create a short story. Design a new computer. Invent a new way to protect computers from viruses. Create a new type of credit card. Work on solving a problem of your own choosing – a problem that is related to your major field of study. Remember that you don’t need to create anything physically. You may use images or just descriptions of your ideas. What is important for this assignment is your ability to generate ideas. Number your ideas 1 through 21. Generate 21 ideas about solving it, using the 21 Synectics steps listed below: Note: The 21 Synectics steps were developed by SynecticsWorld, inc. Invention Labs & Workshops | Synecticsworld. (n.d.). Synecticsworld. Retrieved May 23, 2012, from


The 21 Synectics Steps were developed by Synecticsworld, a company that specializes in innovation, creativity, and problem-solving. The steps are designed to help individuals and teams think outside the box, challenge assumptions, and generate new ideas to solve problems.

Here are the 21 Synectics Steps:

Clarify the task or problem.
Search for relevant information.
Define the ideal solution.
Define the unacceptable solution.
Look for similarities and differences.
Make analogies.
Reverse assumptions.
Combine and synthesize ideas.
Break down the problem.
Consider the opposite.
Consider multiple perspectives.
Think about the problem in different contexts.
Use metaphors and visual aids.
Create and explore hypothetical scenarios.
Use sensory and emotional experiences.
Create stories or narratives.
Focus on the positive aspects of the problem.
Use humor to generate ideas.
Use random words or stimuli to spark ideas.
Take a break and come back to the problem later.
Refine and develop the best ideas.
To apply the 21 Synectics Steps to a problem, you must first select a problem to solve. For this assignment, you can select one of the problems listed, or define your own problem. Once you have selected a problem, you should follow the 21 steps in order.

Here is an example of how to apply the 21 Synectics Steps to the problem of designing a new computer:

Clarify the task or problem: Design a new computer.
Search for relevant information: Research current computer technology, consumer needs, and trends in the computer industry.
Define the ideal solution: A computer that is faster, more powerful, and more user-friendly than current models.
Define the unacceptable solution: A computer that is slower, less powerful, and less user-friendly than current models.
Look for similarities and differences: Compare current computer models and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
Make analogies: Compare a computer to a car or a house and think about what features could be improved.
Reverse assumptions: Consider what a computer would look like if it had no keyboard or mouse.
Combine and synthesize ideas: Combine touch screen technology with voice recognition to create a new interface.
Break down the problem: Focus on improving individual components, such as the processor or the graphics card.
Consider the opposite: Consider designing a computer that is intentionally slow and basic for users who want a more simplified experience.
Consider multiple perspectives: Consider the needs of different types of users, such as gamers, professionals, or casual users.
Think about the problem in different contexts: Consider how a computer could be used in different settings, such as in the workplace, at home, or in public spaces.
Use metaphors and visual aids: Use metaphors such as “a computer is like a brain” to spark new ideas.
Create and explore hypothetical scenarios: Imagine a scenario where a computer could be used in a unique way, such as in space or in extreme weather conditions.
Use sensory and emotional experiences: Think about how a computer could evoke different emotions in users, such as excitement or calmness.
Create Create stories or narratives: Imagine a story about a person who uses a computer to achieve a specific goal, and think about what features the computer would need to make that story possible.
Focus on the positive aspects of the problem: Focus on what a new computer could do for users, rather than just on what it could fix or improve.
Use humor to generate ideas: Consider humorous or playful ways to approach the problem, such as designing a computer that is shaped like a friendly animal.
Use random words or stimuli to spark ideas: Use a random word generator to generate words that could be associated with a new computer design, such as “organic” or “minimalist.”
Take a break and come back to the problem later: Take a break and come back with a fresh perspective to generate new ideas.
Refine and develop the best ideas: Select the best ideas generated through the previous steps, and refine and develop them into concrete design concepts for a new computer.
By applying the 21 Synectics Steps, you can generate a wide variety of ideas and approaches to solving a problem. Some of the steps involve thinking outside the box, while others involve breaking down the problem into smaller components. The key is to be open-minded and willing to explore different ideas and perspectives. Through this process, you can arrive at new and innovative solutions to even the most challenging problems.

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