Business Innovation ? Good Thinking NOT Leadership

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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.

Good Thinking NOT Leadership

All too often good thinking is sacrificed to the competitive urge to lead. With the amount of leadership material available and everyone wanting to be one, scant attention is paid to the effect this has on group productivity:

a) Leadership battles encourage competition and not collaboration. They restrict the flow of information and reduce intellectual cross-pollination, thus exacerbating path dependency, parochialism and path dependency.

b) Leaders or wannabe leaders are often more willing to maintain their position than arrive at good results.

c) Leaders or wannabe leaders are more likely to restrict the expression and thought processes of other individuals than encourage them.

d) Leaders or wannabe leaders are more likely to resist criticism of their structures, processes and methods and thus hinder improivement.

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 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

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