Creativity and Innovation Management : Why Products Fail!


There is no sure fire route to commercial success but the probability of success can be increased. This is important for at least two reasons:

a) Resource Management. The Economist (2003) states that 3000 bright ideas result in 100 worthwhile projects, which are winnowed down to four development programmes. And four such development programmes are required to stand any chance of getting one winner.

b) Time Management. Whilst it is often the case that sufficient time is not taken to develop a product fully, there is always time to go back and fix mistakes. The cost of product re-engineering varies from the low to high billions.

There are a number of techniques that allow better problem identification and idea generation (creativity) and better idea selection, development and commercialisation (innovation).

Innovation strategies include:

a) Valuing ideas according to their type. Random ideas and those resulting from solution spotting have the highest success rates.

b) Measuring strategic, technical and competency fits with the organisation.

c) Measurement of ideas according to their impediments. A new type of cell phone will be infinitely easier to produce than a time machine. The Internet has a far lower take up in Africa than in Europe because of infrastructure deficiencies.

d) Carefully selecting what criteria is used to allow or disallow an idea at various stages of the development pipeline. Not allowing an idea (or releasing it too early) may not give that idea a chance to blossom. However, keeping it in the pipeline takes away valuable resources that may allow another idea to bloom.

e) Adequate consumer benefit analysis. Many ideas are simply developed before focused, practical and appropriate end-user needs are thought through.

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

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 MBA, 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.


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