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Creativity Management - Productivity As A Job
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.
Productivity as a job
It is often the case that individuals "wait for inspiration" before they embark on their creative and innovative endeavours. However, this misses the mark for a number of reasons:
a) Engagement in the task gets the mind working on the task at various cognitive levels - problems are identified and subconsciously the mind searches for solutions. When ideas then arrive, they are labelled as insight or inspiration. Insight or inspiration is increased in frequency and duration when the creator or innovator dives into the task.
b) The key to quality is prolific output. By treating the endeavour as a job, small goals and incremental deadlines increase output to a far greater degree than a "do your best" approach or a "I'll do it when I'm ready" approach.
c) There are a significant number of blocks working on the mind at any one time. Together this is called "resistance." Unless a conscious and sustained effort is made to counter them, they remain obstacles.
d) Climbing the experience curve requires energy expenditure. By treating the endeavour as a job, the experience curve is attacked and overcome much more rapidly.
e) All of the above do not detract from the requirement of motivation, which includes aspects such as: joy for the endeavour, competency expansion, feasibility, self-determination etc.
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
You are free to reproduce this article as long as no changes are made and the author's name and site URL are retained.
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/
Illustration by Kevin Van Aelst for The Chronicle Review - Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription)
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