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.
Effective group creativity results from managing a number of different elements, some of which are:
a) Group structure. Large and small groups, individual and pair combinations produce variations of creative output.
b) Motivation. Impacts the idea pool.
c) Task structure. Sets start and end points, establishes boundaries. Impacts creative output.
d) Tacit knowledge. Making tacit knowledge explicit and therefore tangible, useable and measurable.
e) Creative and critical thinking. Producing and then editing.
f) Idea valuation. Effective idea selection allows resources to be concentrated on development and commercialisation.
g) Network management. Tapping into knowledge, overcoming competency traps, bridging.
h) Culture. Creating a fostering environment.
i) Depth versus breadth. Which is more productive, to master the literature of the field or to frame break into other fields?
j) Process. Qualitative research shows that people who regularly generate lots of ideas follow a similar process, whether they know it or not.
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/