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.
Being receptive to inspiration
Inspiration is one the most misunderstood concepts in creativity and innovation.
Inspiration or insight is that moment when solutions to problems become apparent – they reach the conscious mind from the subconscious. The mind has been tackling problems that have previously been identified either consciously or unconsciously and when the solution arrives, people say aha!
From the above it is possible to construct processes that:
a) Make inspiration more likely.
b) Ensure that the mind is receptive to inspiration when it arrives.
Some of the methods include:
a) Engaging in the task. Instead of waiting for inspiration, it can be triggered by forcing the mind to address problems and find solutions. For example, once screenwriters begin a screenplay, they find that ideas for other screenplays flow like lava from a volcano.
b) Research. Triggers intellectual cross-pollination and advances the boundaries of the task to encompass what is already known. Increases the chance of productivity being out of the ordinary. For example, screenwriters know how valuable research is to the quality of their output.
c) Prolific productivity. The positive relationship between quantity and quality is well known. Further, prolific production increases performance to optimal levels through the learning of competencies, new knowledge, refinement of methodology and so forth. For example, screenwriters know that their seventh screenplay was far better then their first.
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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