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.
Confidence in People
In the field of creativity and innovation, there is a distinct feeling in many firms that "special people" are needed. This is related to a lack of understanding of creativity, innovation and creative types. There are a number of reasons not to rely on "special people," including:
a) Creativity is a cognitive process. It is very difficult to measure that activity from impressions alone.
b) If creativity is problem identification and idea generation, then that is something we can all do.
c) Whilst some theorists argue that there are creativity traits such as tolerance for ambiguity and intolerance for conformity, others argue that traits are hard to identify and do not cross situations. Further, motivation is more important.
d) The British Journal of Psychology reported an experiment where businessmen scored low on creativity in normal situations but then high when they were asked to pretend to be happy-go-lucky hippies.
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, 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/