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.
Working from real life
There are a number of reasons why working from real life generates better ideas than fiction or mental invention. Supporting arguments include:
a) Mental invention is one of the least successful idea types. Random event with previous knowledge, solution spotting and need spotting are far more successful.
b) The best ideas come from those people who have the most tacit knowledge ? those that have had a life long interest in many subjects.
c) Truffaut said that his ideas derive 20% autobiography, 20% from newspapers, 20% from interpersonal interaction, 20% from fiction.
d) The best ideas derive from intellectual cross-pollination, networks and collaboration.
e) Though idea generation is a cognitive activity, you cannot separate the idea from its influences.
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/