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.
The value of an idea?
How much is an idea worth? The old Hollywood axiom sums it up nicely ? ideas are a dime a dozen, and then factor in depreciation. The reason for this is twofold:
a) Good ideas are actually very easy to produce. With techniques such as creative versus critical thinking, lateral thinking, prolific output, the right organizational culture, organizational structure, the correct competency mix, a high degree of intellectual cross pollination, knowledge sources, diverse and novel participants, bridging techniques, varied and diverse stimuli and so forth? good ideas are a dime a dozen.
b) A good idea is only an idea until it is successfully implemented. People trumpet their great ideas without ever practically evaluating them. The Economist (2003b) states that 3000 bright ideas are needed for 100 worthwhile projects, which in turn will be winnowed down to four development programmes for new products. And four such development programmes are the minimum needed to stand any chance of getting one winner.
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/
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Kal Bishop, MBA
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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/