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Innovation Management - Selecting Good Ideas

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.

A number of idea selection methods can be used. For a comprehensive evaluation, it is advisable to use all methods. Considering the costs of Research and Development and the added cost of re-engineering products when flaws are discovered, it pays to conduct in-depth valuation before large investments in that idea are given a GO status.

Some of the idea selection methods include:

a) Comparing the type of idea with those types of ideas that have previously been most successful.

b) Judging whether the idea fits well with the firm.

c) Analysing the likely practical impediments that may prevent successful commercialisation.

d) Knowing how and when the GO or KILL decisions will be made when an idea is in the idea funnel.

e) Knowing how the consumer will benefit.

Additionally, there are benefits to failure. Whilst an idea may be judged as being commercially unsuccessful, the firm, team or individual may learn valuable competencies that will increase the chances of the next product being successful. Ridley Scott had limited commercial success with Blade Runner, but went on to make some of the most lucrative movies ever.

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 You can also receive a regular, free newsletter by entering your email address at this site.

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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