Innovation Management – Eliciting Dominant Ideas


Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation while innovation can be defined as idea selection, development and commercialization.

There are other useful definitions in this field, for example, creativity can be defined as constituting 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 commercialization. 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 commercializing those ideas will not be wasted.

eliciting Dominant Ideas

One of the most useful methods of generating ideas is to elicit the dominant ideas or assumptions of an endeavor. Each dominant idea in turn then acts as the root to a pathway from which other ideas can be elicited. This is akin to creating a custom framework for the task.

For example, Ferrari may not be selling enough cars and the sales team may "brainstorm" to discover why?

Individual managers will identify varying problems, such as: the price is too high, the price is too low, the color is wrong, the marketing is flawed etc. Each of these is in itself a pathway to idea generation.

Moving slightly higher, they may ask why clients are buying their cars at all. And answers could include: demonstrate wealth, pick up chicks, demonstrate success etc. Again, these are pathways to different ideas.

Then the managers may move onto higher concepts. Why are the clients buying their cars: to raise their status. What other value adding options help to raise the client's status.

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-

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