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Innovation Management - Emotion, Habit And Culture Can Be Hard To Change!

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.

However, Franklin (2003) argues that even great ideas developed and commercialised brilliantly may fail to succeed due to cultural, emotional and habitual barriers. Even obviously cheaper, simpler and more effective ideas fail to take off.

Whilst there are systems such as the S-curve that help predict and determine the magnitude of these barriers and hence the risk of successful commercialisation, the very nature of them makes them very hard and pin down in any quantitative or qualitative analysis.

The strength of cultural, emotional and habitual barriers can be illustrated by the examples below:

a) 11 million people have died of AIDS in Africa. Yet there is a taboo against condom use.
b) The metric system is obviously a great system and used almost the world over 'except in the United States.

c) The ATM 'cash point machines 'initially failed to take off because people believed that they did not have the right to access money so easily.

d) Scurvy was prevalent for years and the cure 'lemon juice 'was known, yet was not recognised as a legitimate cure for centuries.

e) Sewage systems are only today being adopted in rural and poorer parts of the world.

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
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Kal Bishop, MBA

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


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