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Innovation Management - forced into it!

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.

Whilst there is a lot of lip service given to innovation, the reality is that it often results from competitors making significant gains - competitors who themselves have had to be innovative to challenge existing market leaders. Good examples are i) New Coke, forced into action when it lost market share to Pepsi and ii) IBM forced to change as a result of Microsoft.

An irony is that once innovative companies become less so when they have found their Golden Fleece. Finding a killer product forces a firm to concentrate on marketing and improving that product and results in a degree of parochialism and path dependency. Again, a good example is Microsoft - after Windows 95, innovation has been less significant; growth has resulted less from innovation and more from buying up innovative companies.

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

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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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