Business Innovation ? Confidence through Competence

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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 through Competence

Blocks can be categorised into two general categories: First, evaluation apprehension and second, structural impediments ? such as lack of finance or access to decision makers.

Of the first set, lack of confidence is often related to task incompetence. It follows then that task competence increases confidence. A good example is screenwriting ? initially screenwriters take inordinate amounts of time to complete a screenplay, but, following a few completions and even successful sales, they are able to trot them out as quickly as ideas come to them ? the words-on-paper-first-draft at least.

Competency (and therefore idea flow and confidence) is increased by:

a) Engaging in the task and thereby refining knowledge, methodology and process.

b) Incrementally setting goals and achieving small successes regularly. Graham Green, the famous author, regularly wrote 500 words a day.

c) Completing the task.

d) Refining the task.

e) Successfully commercialising the task.

f) Engaging in another similar task.

g) Having a set of successful experiences.

The above process is inherent in the expression, "you have to write a million words before you write anything good." It gradually strips away the subconscious inhibitors that prevent productivity.

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

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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

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