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 Creative Process
There is a wide spread belief that creativity cannot be a process. This is intertwined with the feeling that creativity occurs out of the blue, as does inspiration, and that creativity cannot be managed. Unfortunately this ignores the fact that many people in the creative industries are able to consistently come up with good ideas all the time.
The creative process includes:
a) Identifying the problem. Different people see different problems.
b) Intensely investigate. Use a variety of sources and a variety of novel and diverse sources.
c) Use varied idea elicitation techniques (lateral thinking, association, what-ifs, etc) to generate a large amount of ideas without evaluation. Evaluate later.
d) Seek stimuli. Intellectually cross pollinate. Widen your horizons. Build your tacit knowledge.
e) Constantly think about the problem. Triggers conscious and unconscious sources.
f) Engage in rest and unrelated activity. Triggers incubation and increases the chance of insight.
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/