Innovation Management - Smart People Don't Necessarily Produce Great 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.
One common mistake leaders often make is to rely on smart people to come up with great ideas. This is flawed for a number of reasons:
a) The opinion of smart people is not what matters. The end-user is obviously more important as his or her take-up of the product will determine success or failure. Unfortunately, it is all too often the case that sufficient end-user analysis is lacking before investment is given a GO status. One of the many ways of assessing end-user benefits is to use the buyer experience cycle and utility layers to determine an idea's ultimate value.
b) The opinion of smart people is less valuable than the opinions of a large number of people and a large number of diverse and novel people. The result is intellectual cross-pollination that overcomes path dependency, parochialism and leads to frame breaking.
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.
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 http://www.managing-creativity.com.