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Innovation Management - the quality and quantity of the idea pool

The quantity and quality of the idea pool is important.The Economist (2003b) states that 3000 bright ideas are needed for 100 worthwhile projects, which in turn will be winnowed down to four development programmes...

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.

The quantity and quality of the idea pool is important.

The Economist (2003b) states that 3000 bright ideas are needed for 100 worthwhile projects, which in turn will be winnowed down to four development programmes for new products. And four such development programmes are the minimum needed to stand any chance of getting one winner.

Generating a large idea pool of quality ideas is actually not that difficult. There are numerous approaches:

a) One of the more useful definitions of creativity is that it is a large set of ideas, a large set of diverse ideas and large set of novel ideas. Focusing on each of these opens up various pathways.

b) Separating creative from critical thinking. Creative thinking is unrestricted, uninhibited, unrestrained, imaginative, carefree, rebellious, and revolutionary. Once a large set of ideas are generated, critical thinking can be used, which is focused, feasible, conservative and practical.

c) One of the more useful methods is simply to be prolific. Some of the most successful creations have been produced when the creator was being prolific. Being prolific trounces over the blocks that prevent output and quickly builds up competencies that are required for truly exceptional work.

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

You are free to reproduce this article as long as no changes are made and the author's name and site URL are retained.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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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