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Business Innovation ? Small Changes, Big Effects

Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation whilst innovation can be defined as idea selection, development and commercialisation.

There are other useful definitions in this field, for example, creativity can be defined as consisting of a number of ideas, a number of diverse ideas and a number of novel ideas.

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.

Small Changes, Big Effects

When innovators attempt to make radical leaps, they often try to "think big" or in terms of giant leaps. Whilst there may be value to this approach, there is also much to be said for the opposite approach, that is, deriving radical change from small steps:

a) Thinking big and jumping far ignores the fact that such steps increase the magnitude and number of practical impediments. A time machine may be a good idea, but the feasibility of it in the present state of technology is low.

b) Radical leaps require radical leaps in knowledge ? it is known that the most significant changes are derived from small steps. For example, most successful innovations result from taking advantage of existing behaviours, technologies, buying patterns and uses.

c) Incremental steps help develop the minute and intangible competencies that come into play in bigger projects.

These and other 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

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