Managing Creativity and Innovation part 1 of 2

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Leaders, consultants and managers must be competent in at least thirteen domains to even begin effectively managing creativity and innovation. Part 1 of Managing Creativity and Innovation covers the first seven of these domains.

a) The difference between creativity and innovation. Often used interchangeably, the two must be thought of as separate and distinct. One definition for creativity is that it is problem identification and idea generation, whilst innovation is best described as idea selection, development and commercialisation. These definitions alone imply at least six competencies (including one holistic). At a minimum, the differences mean that, at each stage, varying skills, processes and structures are required.

b) The size and richness of idea pools. Initially creative thinking is used to generate an idea pool and then critical thinking reduces those ideas to feasible ones. To maximise the quantity and quality of the idea pool, a conscious application of processes and techniques must be applied. Some of these include

i)Using a variety of stimuli and frameworks to open up pathways
ii)Not stopping when a good idea seems to present itself
iii)Consciously stimulating change in direction
iv)Distinguishing between the numbers of ideas produced, their novelty, diversity and frequency of production.

c) Creative types. There is common belief that some people just are more creative and certain theorists argue for creativity characteristics such as tolerance of ambiguity and intolerance for conformity. However, traits are notoriously difficult to detect and not stable nor transferable across situations. Also, motivation is thought to be more important than traits - this is similar to possessing high intelligence - one must be motivated to improve and apply it.

d) Learning versus Talent. Can creativity be learned and developed or is it a natural talent or gift? The best way to answer this question is to investigate whether creativity improves with practice. The experience curve, automisation, learning theories and the experiences of practitioners suggest that people do get better at generating more, better, diverse and novel ideas - but there are caveats, such as an increase in path dependency and peaks and troughs in motivation.

e) Motivation. Someone with natural ability or placed in the right environment may not take advantage of it unless motivated. Intrinsically motivated individuals tend to expend more effort and create more output and synergistic extrinsic motivation better enables a person to complete an endeavour. On the other hand, non-synergistic extrinsic motivation leads to a person feeling controlled and manipulated and is incompatible with intrinsic motivation. Specific motivators such as material reward, progress to the ideal self, self-determination, self-evaluation, feedback, enjoyment, competency expansion, recognition and feasibility can all be quantitatively measured and monitored.

f) Organisational Culture. We can all be more creative, so what is stopping us? Often people complain of some degree of evaluation apprehension - this manifests itself in many ways but two of the most common are a fear of seeming unintelligent or unoriginal. Some cultures are more risk averse than others, others do not manage competition well and yet others engender friction by misallocating resources.

g) Organisational structure. Many theories argue that certain structures, such as hierarchical and mechanistic, hinder creativity and innovation. Whilst these theories generally tend towards validity, there are many reasons why a business has a particular organisational structure - history, logistics, market segmentation, product line, strategy and so forth - therefore it is unreasonable to ask a firm to change it. Ultimately, what managers need, is a knowledge of the properties of a fostering structure so that they may incorporate those elements into their existing one.

This field yields much interesting data. For example, many respondents argued that all structures, even those so-called flat structures, are in reality hierarchical.

Some very simple changes can be implemented. These include:

i)Direct communication links to decision makers.
ii)Cross-divisional information flow.
iii)Tangible progress of ideas.

Part 2 of Managing Creativity & Innovation will discuss Group Structure, Knowledge, Networks and Collaboration, Radical and Incremental Creativity and Innovation, Structure and Goals, Process and Valuation.

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.


JohnD 24.03.2010. 07:53

Which career should i opt? Hello. I am a 12th standard student who will pass out class 12th this year. I need some advice on career options.
I want to opt a career which pays me a high salary and i find it interesting.

I am ready to work every bit to get such a job. Hard work is not a constraint for me. I am ready to work hard. I have decided the following options for me-

Option 1:

Mechanical/Electronics/Aeronautics/Automobile Engineer
- because i have immense interest in machines and the way they work. I love science especially physics therefore i want to make a career in this field. I wan a job in which i would be given a project and a deadline to complete it, like design a new and more efficient jet engine for an aircraft, or design a more efficient car design or a better and efficient circuit for some device or develop a robot for some purpose(i also have immense interest in robotics and automation) or design better circuits for things like computer GPUs, motherboard, network cards etc.. I mean to say i want to be a salaried employee in such fields and work on various projects for a company with a project team.(do not confuse this with reasearch work, i want to be an engineer not a scientist and just sit in a lab doing calculations only, i want to work on desk with paper and pen and as well as with machines and tools in the development workshop)

I am very good at physics, mathematics and chemistry. I just love doing physics and mathematics.
Especially physics is very very interesting and that too th mechanics and electronics part in it.

Basically i want a job which demands creativity, innovation and inquisitiveness.
Option 2:

Game development job - programming/graphics/music - any of these three parts of game development, in fact all three can be handled by me, becuase i love video games and also interested in programming and graphics and i can also work on the music part as i am an experienced keyboard player(playing since 7 years) and also know how to play drums, i also keep working on studio softwares on pc and interfacing my keyboard with pc to make music and various tracks.
I just now know C/C++ progamming, Adobe Photoshop and some basic HTML/CSS web designing.

But above all these things, i want a high salary also so that i can have all the luxuries that i have dreamt of till now and i am reay to work hard till the end for it(i know that all this wont come for free without hard work)

Just now i have planned to do engineering in Mech./Electronics/Automobile/Aeronautics. And then post graduation for specialization in that field also. But after this i dont want to sit in a lab and work on paper like a scientist. I want to make new designs and implement them with tools and machines in the workshop. I dont know how much salary engineers get for such work. Please give some information regarding this.

People mostly get very high salaries after doing a combination of BTech from IIT and MBA from IIM is a very high paid combination.......i mean 1+ lakhs Rs per month or so. But i dont think doing MBA after doing BTech is a good choice as MBA totally deviates you from your scientific field and pulls you into finance and accounts field and you end up getting a very high paid job but thats a job like a job in a bank or some finance company........just sitting in your A/C cabin and doing analysis and calculating finances and working on your laptop 7-8 hours a innovation........and above science involved....MBA totally wipes off the science thing from a BTech graduate......and people just go in to MBA because it pays them high salary.......then what was the use of doing BTech and studying science for 4 years......was it just a degree addition to your career?.....i dont understand this concept of MBA after doint BTech........but many IITians opt for MBA from IIMs after their BTech.....god knows it just the money......doesn't their interst in science matter to them anymore after doing BTech and that too from a "science heaven" like IIT....please guide me if my thinking is wrong about all this....i mean this is what i feel....i am sorry if i am offending anybody......i am not saying anythings against people doing BTech+MBA........they are super brilliant and deserve a high pay and a good job......but the above mentioned thoughts come to my mind again and again whenever i think of MBA after doing my BTech......please advice me on this

So please advice any career option based on above written things for me.


Admin 24.03.2010. 07:53

i would suggest being an engineer. for the past 10 or so years, engineers have the highest starting salary out of college than any other profession! of the top 10 highest paying careers right out of college, 9 of them are engineering positions. the 10th is an IT position lol. so if you want money, engineering is REALLY the way to go. which field of engineering you go into, well, thats a decision only you can make. might i suggest petrolium engineering? Its currently in very high demand and pays the highest of all the engineers. if you want something more well rounded, try materials or mechanical engineer. these are more broad and would allow you to apply for a wider range of positions. if youre really into chemitry, chemical engineers are knowing for making top salaries.

another option is to start work after you get your BS. a lot of companies will pay for any further schooling that you might want. MBA programs are very popular and companies will usually pay for you to get your MBA! not a bad deal, right? the MBA is meant to be aimed at people wanting to be managers. all the top payed employees in any industry are very good at accounting. its allllllll about money management. so yes, an mba wont be directly related to a science degree, but thats not the point. the point is if you wanna become a top boss, you need the mba schooling. plus, a person cannot manage a company if they dont understand the basics. this is where your science degree will prove valuable.

i think youre thinking about it too much. i think you have a very good idea of what you want, but youre putting too much emphasis on weighing your options when you have zero real world experience. i think engineering sounds perfect for you. this is a very good starting point. get through a few years of that, get an internship or coop position. you will know where you wanna go from there, trust me. hope i was some help


tirath 06.10.2009. 05:42

application of computer in various fields? Array


Admin 06.10.2009. 05:42

Hi Tirath.

Below is the list of some of the principal applications of the computer systems:

1. Businesses. Businessmen make bar graphs and pie charts from tedious figures to convey information with far more impact than numbers alone can covey. Furthermore, computers help businesses to predict their future sales, profits, costs etc. making companies more accurate in their accounts. Computers may also play a vital role in aiding thousands of organistaions to make judgmental and hard-provoking decisions concerning financial problems and prospective trends.

2. Buildings. Architects use computer animated graphics to experiment with possible exteriors and to give clients a visual walk-through of their proposed buildings. The computers provide architects a numerous amount of facilities to create different buildings with greater accuracy, better designing and editing tools, and work done at the fastest speed possible. Finally, a new kind of artist has emerged, one who uses computers to express his or her creativity.

3. Education. Most good schools in the world have computers available for use in the classroom. It has been proved that learning with computers has been more successful and this is why numerous forms of new teaching methods have been introduced. This enhances the knowledge of the student at a a much faster pace than the old traditional methods. Likewise, colleges and various universities have extended the use of computers as many educators prefer the 'learning by doing' method - an approach uniquely suited to the computer.

4. Retailing. Products from meats to magazines are packed with zebra-striped bar codes that can be read by the computer scanners at supermarket checkout stands to determine prices and help manage inventory. Thus, a detailed receipt of the groceries can be made, which is useful for both the customer and the retail store, especially for the stock control system. This is referred as POS (Point of Sale) transaction where a precise account of all the stocks available is recorded and manipulated.

5. Energy. Energy companies use computers to locate oil, coal, natural gas and uranium. With the use of these technological machines, these companies can figure out the site of a natural resource, its concentration and other related figures. Electric companies use computers to monitor vast power networks. In addition, meter readers use hand held computers to record how much energy is used each month in homes and offices.

6. Law Enforcement. Recent innovation in computerised law enforcement include national fingerprint files, a national file on the mode of operation of serial killers, and computer modeling of DNA, which can be used to match traces from an alleged criminal's body, such as blood at a crime scene. In addition, computers also contain a complete databases of all the names, pictures and information of such people who choose to break the law.

7. Transportation. Computers are used in cars to monitor fluid levels, temperatures and electrical systems. Computers are also used to help run rapid transit systems, load containerships and track railroads cars across the country. An important part is the air control traffic systems, where computers are used to control the flow of traffic between airplanes which needs a lot of precision and accuracy to be dealt with.

8. Money. Computers speed up record keeping and allow banks to offer same-day services and even do-it yourself banking over the phone and internet. Computers have helped fuel the cashless economy, enabling the widespread use of credit cards, debit cards and instantaneous credit checks by banks and retailers. There is also a level of greater security when computers are involved in money transactions as there is a better chance of detecting forged cheques and using credit/debit cards illegally etc.

9. Agriculture. Farmers use small computers to help with billing, crop information, and cost per acre, feed combinations, and market price checks. Cattle ranchers can also use computers for information about livestock breeding and performance.

10. Government. Among other tasks, the federal government uses computers to forecast the weather, to manage parks and historical sites, to process immigrants, to produce social security checks and to collect taxes. The most important use of the computer system in in this field is perhaps the Army, the Air Force and the Navy. The computers have to be very powerful and in order to be run they have to be very accurate and precise. E.g. in the use of missiles and other likes, every nanosecond counts, which may save trillions of lives on this planet. The government also uses computers in various simulations like the spread of influenza in a particular locality.

11. The Home. People having a computer in the home justifies the fact that it is not only useful and efficient, but it is also revered as a learning system. Personal computers are being used for innumerous tasks nowada


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