Innovation Management – The Harsh Facts Of Life For All Innovators

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.

The harsh facts of life for all innovators

a) Your opinion doesn’t matter. The end user’s does.

b) People will resist change unless they see a significant benefit.

c) If the innovation failed, then you made the wrong assumptions.

d) Your innovation may not be appreciated until you are dead.

e) No innovation is so compelling it will sell itself.

f) People will find reason NOT to adopt your innovation.

g) Only 2.5% of the population are willing to give your idea a try (Innovator Theory, Moore).

h) Culture, emotion and tradition are powerful obstacles.

i) If you don’t find out what potential users are like, you will likely fail.

j) If you don’t use a broad, diverse and novel sample in your market research, then parochialism, path dependency and competency traps are preventing you from making good decisions.

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

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Kal Bishop, MBA


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