Creativity Management ? Theres Nothing New Under the Sun

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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.

There's nothing new under the sun

There is a concept that creativity is the invention of something original. This is misleading:

a) Originality implies a break from the past. In fact, all ideas are evolutions of previous concepts.

b) Creativity is cumulative and incremental. Newton said he "stood on the shoulder of giants."

c) Creativity can be defined as recombination. It is the creation of something new post the combination of elements that have previously existed.

d) Creativity can be defined as involving novel but useful solutions. Therefore it is a relative term. And has practical dimensions.

e) Creativity can have degrees ? the expression of unusual thoughts, the experience of the world in novel ways, the affecting of significant change. All are grounded to that which exists.

Moving away from the concept of "originality" is important. It causes people to believe that they must create with a break from the past as opposed to building incrementally upon it.

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


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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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