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Creativity Management and Behaviour

What behaviour maximises the chances of thinking of great ideas? What behaviour maximises the ability to nurture ideas until they begin to reveal their potential?

To begin answering the above questions we will briefly explore five areas:

a) Creativity versus innovation. It is correct that the above questions are separated, as they refer to two distinct disciplines 'defining problems and generating ideas (creativity) and selecting those ideas, developing and then commercialising them (innovation). It can be seen that the two disciplines require different competencies and that those competencies do not necessarily need to be contained in the one individual. In fact it is unusual that all competencies are contained in the one individual 'often people who generate good ideas require the competencies of many other people to successfully bring that product to market. For example, screenwriters begin to lose control at the point that their agent receives and accepts their final draft.

b) Creativity can also be defined as generating a quantity of ideas and a quantity of novel and diverse ideas. It follows then that this is more probable if the individual is used to engaging in a quantity of divergent and novel behaviours.  Those individuals with a life long interest and curiosity in many subjects tend to produce the greatest number of ideas and the greatest number of novel and diverse ideas.

c) A tendency to build networks and a propensity for collaboration also increases the probability of generating good ideas. These allow the intellectual cross-pollination that overcomes parochialism and path dependency, allowing frame breaking.

d) Conscious idea generation increases the quantity of good ideas and therefore the probability of good quality ideas. Individuals that set out to consciously produce 5 ideas every half an hour produce 80 at the end of an average day 'a quantity that would not normally be produced.

e) Focused creativity increases the chances of good ideas that have commercial possibilities. Franklin (2003) writes that the most successful ideas are the result of conscious solution finding.  If you are stuck for a good product, go out and find a problem and search out a solution.

This topic is 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

Kal Bishop, MBA

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

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