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.
One of the useful methods of valuing ideas is to analyse whether the firm, team or individual responsible for turning an idea into a commercial success has the required fit.
Fit with the firm can be measured in a number of ways:
a) Does the idea have a strategic fit with the company? It may be a great idea but if lacks strategic fit, its development and commercialisation may cause long term problems. In this case there are three choices: drop it, license it or create a joint venture.
b) Does the firm have the technical expertise to make it work? If not where can it be found? What is the cost of importing the technical expertise?
c) Does the organisation have the business competencies to make it work? These include competencies in marketing, new product development, the ability to manage widely diverse and scattered employees and facilities. Again, is the idea big enough to justify the expense?
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 http://www.managing-creativity.com.
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Kal Bishop, MBA
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