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.
Sometimes ignoring everybody works. But this is rare. And only wise if you can afford the loss.
Success is more often related to verifying that the assumptions being made are indeed valid.
Before investing time and money, test the idea:
a) Does it indeed address the end users problem? Is this a problem that they are willing to spend money solving? Irons that talk to the microwave may sound like a good idea, but why will the customer want this and will she spend money on it? How exactly will the consumer benefit?
b) Are we persuading ourselves that the idea will work? Is there a high degree of groupthink? Are we persuading ourselves that the marketing team will create desire?
c) Is there strategic, technical and competency fit with the firm?
d) What are the practical impediments? Are we considering cultural and emotional impediments as well as technical?
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
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