Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation whilst innovation can be defined as idea selection, development and commercialisation.
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.
One useful tool in the idea generation phase is to simply be prolific. It can be said with great confidence that quality is related to sheer quantity. Some of the most highly recognised creative products came about when the creator was being most prolific.
In addition to the above, the best ideas usually occur late on in the idea generation process. It is after the creator has produced fifty, one hundred and two hundred ideas that he starts to really produce quality output in higher numbers.
But before that stage the creator tends to hit a wall.
The wall is similar to the experience curve. Initially relative lack of experience, knowledge and refined methodology limits performance to sub-optimal levels. With time these factors improve and productivity increases exponentially. Along the way valuable competencies are learned. This is encompassed in the expression "you have to write a million words before you write anything good."
These 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
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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 http://www.managing-creativity.com.