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Innovation Management - Innovation or Profit?


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.

Innovation or Profit?

Often the mission statement includes a nebulous goal to innovate, but the real goal is to make a profit:

a) Most innovations do not lead to profit.

b) Yes, you must always be flexible enough to innovate, but that requires a whole new set of strategies, competencies, resources, processes and networks. Only successful innovations will make this profitable.

c) Most successful innovations are incremental, not radical: moderately new to market, based on tried and tested technology, saved money, met customer needs and supported existing behaviours (Franklin, 2003). Most innovations are simply the result of identifying and solving problems and most leaps are the result of cumulative periods of consecutive problem solving.

d) Most successful innovations take time to bear fruit - at least a few years, too long for impact in the annual accounts.

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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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/


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