Innovation Management ? The Need For Knowledge Managers

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.

the need for Knowledge Managers

The Economist (2003b) states that 3000 bright ideas are needed for 100 worthwhile projects, which in turn will be winnowed down to four development programmes for new products. And four such development programmes are the minimum needed to stand any chance of getting one winner.

From the above it is clear that a large number of good ideas are required before the innovation process can truly begin. Given that the bright ideas themselves would have been chosen from a larger pool of general ideas, the problem becomes one of maximising idea generation before idea selection begins.

A number of techniques can be used to generate vast quantities of ideas rapidly. For example, asking 100 participants to address a problem and generate five ideas an hour, results in 4000 ideas at the end of one working day.

But what do we do with all these ideas?

An idea is valueless unless it is successfully implemented.

From those 4000 ideas, a selection process has to be organised and many people with varied competencies need to be brought into the idea selection process if good decisions are to be made.

And then those ideas have to be pushed through the innovation process.

But the thing with problems is that they are never ending. The first problem solved is only the most pressing, that problem which is foremost in the bottleneck. And bottlenecks have to constantly be attended to.

And then there are issues such as sustained awareness.

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

You can also receive a regular, free newsletter by entering your email address at this site.

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

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