Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation whilst innovation can be defined as idea selection, development and commercialisation.
There are other useful definitions in this field, for example, creativity can be defined as consisting of a number of ideas, a number of diverse ideas and a number of novel ideas.
There are distinct processes that enhance problem identification and idea generation and, similarly, distinct processes that enhance idea selection, development and commercialisation. Whilst there is no sure fire route to commercial success, these processes improve the probability that good ideas will be generated and selected and that investment in developing and commercialising those ideas will not be wasted.
It's all about routine
Graham Green, the famous English novelist, said that his success was down to writing 500 words a day. The value of routine in enhancing creative output is often underestimated:
a) Incremental goals such as the above produce far more output than random moments of waiting for inspiration or a "do your best" approach.
b) Inspiration and insight are the result of the mind working on problems at various cognitive levels. By keeping to a routine, problems constantly are identified and put into focus and the mind is tasked to solve them on a regular basis. Insight and inspiration are increased in frequency and duration.
c) The increased output that results form routine also increases the probability that quality will emerge. The relationship between quantity and quality should not be underestimated. Some of the most recognised works have been produced when the creator was being most prolific.
d) Routine increases the rate at which competencies, refined methodology, knowledge and process are learned, thus speeding up optimisation of performance.
e) Creative leaps or radical innovations are usually made by individuals who have significant experience in a field. Glover et al (1989) identified only three notable works produced before year ten of a composer's career. If you want to make a breakthrough you have to put in the time.
These and other topics are covered in depth in the MBA dissertation on Managing Creativity & Innovation, which can be purchased (along with a Creativity and Innovation DIY Audit, Good Idea Generator Software and Power Point Presentation) from http://www.managing-creativity.com/
You can also receive a regular, free newsletter by entering your email address at this site.
Kal Bishop, MBA
You are free to reproduce this article as long as no changes are made and the author's name and site URL are retained.
Kal Bishop is a management consultant based in London, UK. He has consulted in the visual media and software industries and for clients such as Toshiba and Transport for London. He has led Improv, creativity and innovation workshops, exhibited artwork in San Francisco, Los Angeles and London and written a number of screenplays. He is a passionate traveller. He can be reached on http://www.managing-creativity.com/