Synectics

is an excellent book by William J.J. Gordon (isbn 978-0060324308). As usual I'm going to quote from a few pages:
The word Synectics, from the Greek, means the joining together of different and apparently irrelevant elements.
Abstraction breeds more abstraction and more generality instead of leading to tough yes-no tests.
Words like intuition, empathy, and play are merely names put to complex activities in the hope that the naming of the activity will in fact describe it.
Human beings are heir to a legacy of frozen words and ways of perceiving which wrap their world in comfortable familiarity.
Synectics theory agrees with the conviction that a man does not know even his own science if he knows only it.
"All the crappy solutions in the world have been rationalized by deadlines."
He refused to recognize the fact that his search for the perfect problem was a way of avoiding failure in solving a less perfect one.
Invention is akin to painting for in practice, the element being constructed has the capacity to tell the builder what the next step should be. In invention this is much more critical than in engineering because the inventor is always attempting to do something new.
When this forgetfulness is formalized into a methodology, it reinforces the rejection of the commonplace.
Organic functions are unfinished, cylical, and self-reproductive... Synthetic functions are complete and more obviously subject to decay.
Conventions as abstractions from reality constitute a virtually complete and unassailable pattern, whereas the commonplace is infinitely repatternable.
The child who asks: "What's that funny noise?" is told the noise is thunder in such a way that speculation is supposed to stop... But naming the noise does not describe it. It does not answer the question, it kills it.

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