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Creativity and Innovation Management: Generating Better Ideas

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 for both, for example, creativity can be measured according to the number of ideas produced, the diversity of those ideas and the novelty of those 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.

Generating Better Ideas

One valuable debate is whether creativity can be developed and improved - or in other words, is it possible to generate better ideas? There are a number of reasons to believe that creativity can be developed, some of which include:

a) It is always possible to increase the number of ideas, the number of diverse ideas and the number of novel ideas.

b) Simply being prolific increases the probability of generating better ideas. Quality is closely related to sheer quantity. Creators tend to produce their best work when they are being most prolific.

c) Better idea tend to occur later on in an idea generating session, when the mind has overcome blocks, tends to produce ideas with less evaluation, when the mind consciously recognises path dependency and attempts to frame break etc.

d) Incremental goals produce more output than simply "do your best" strategies.

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, 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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