Creativity, Ideation and Innovation


brainstorming,          Ideation,               daring novelties,                breaking    new        ground,                       opening         doors and windows to            creativity,     finding                          inspiration,              setting the creative scene,          a mise en place      for lightening insights,        creativity                 techniques,            working towards innovation

Ideation and what it takes

To find ideas, you need an environment that allows and encourages creative thinking. It needs people who can move safely and freely, physically, mentally and emotionally. It needs a process, because structure helps creativity. And ideally, the creative potential that we all have at our disposal is directed in more or less defined paths. Then brainstorming is only a matter of time and desire.

If we were to construct a formula for it, it would probably look like this: Corporate culture as a function of creativity plus open-minded people times time times surrounding reality plus the square of structure divided by a facilitator results in an unknown variable times idea generation!
So... first the corporate culture, then creativity, then idea generation and finally innovation.

Vilfredo Pareto

Pareto says: If 80 percent of a task is fulfilled, that is enough. Processing the remaining 20 percent carefully to complete the task consumes too much energy.

Creativity and Quality

When being creative, the quality of the thing, idea, ware, insight or perspective often lies within that remaining 20 per cent of the effort. Translated into ideas, this means: the first idea is often conventional since it conforms to our mental models and originates from what we have seen, heard or experienced in the past. Idea number two might be a lukewarm alternative that is still heavily influenced by our patterns and our wish to finalize the process of creation within the usual efficiency criteria. This result most probably does not reach a degree of maturity worth implementing. Yet when keeping on and persisting and going over things again and again, and when questioning assumptions for the sixth time and when tackling a mental border that resists our wish to go beyond it, then we might after arduous effort come up with a truly novel piece of work that can be called “creative”. This is our belief: that time and effort and not letting go all foster the quality of creation.

Insights and Opinions on Creativity and Innovation

Tony Proctor

Creativity involves an ability to come up with new and different viewpoints on a subject. It involves breaking down and restructuring our knowledge about the subject in order to gain new insights into its nature.

Ellis Paul Torrance
defined creativity as: the process of becoming sensitive to problems, deficiencies, gaps in knowledge, missing elements, disharmonies, and so on; identifying the difficulty; searching for solutions, making guesses or formulating hypotheses about the deficiencies; testing and retesting them; and finally communicating the results.

Tudor Rickards
defines creativity as ‘the personal discovery process, partially unconscious, which leads to new and relevant insights’. Tudor Rickards also advocates a view of creativity as a universal human process resulting in the escape from assumptions and the discovery of new and meaningful perspectives, or as an ‘escape from mental stuckness’. In broad terms he believes creativity is to do with personal, internal restructuring.

Tony Proctor
Invention is an act of creativity that results in a device, process, or technique novel enough to produce a significant change in the application of technology. Tony Proctor
Generating ideas is not just a chance process. Ideas appear to arise by chance only when people are actually looking for them. It does not happen to people who are not curious or enquiring or who are not engaged in a hard search for opportunities, possibilities, answers or inventions.

Tony Proctor
Logical thinking progresses in a series of steps, each one dependent on the last. This new knowledge is merely an extension of what we know already, rather than being truly new. The need for creative problem solving has arisen as a result of the inadequacies of logical thinking. It is a method of using imagination along with techniques which use analogies, associations and other mechanisms to help produce insights into problems which might not otherwise be obtained through conventional, traditional methods of problem solving.

Tony Proctor
Measures of intelligence do not explain creative ability. Highly productive creative thinkers form more novel combinations than the merely talented. If one particular style of thought stands out about highly productive creative thinking, it is the ability to make juxtapositions between dissimilar subjects. It is a facility to see things to which others are blind.

Joseph Schumpeter
According to Joseph Schumpeter (Theory of Economic Development, 1911), innovation is the implementation of a technical or organisational innovation in the production process, not already the corresponding invention. For Schumpeter, the innovator is the "creative entrepreneur" who drives the process of creative destruction in search of new fields of action. His driving force is short-term monopolies based on innovation, which provide the innovative entrepreneur with pioneering pensions. These are monetary advantages (also innovation prices) that arise from the innovative improvements, for example the higher productivity of a process innovation or higher monopoly prices of a product innovation.

Jürgen Hauschildt
According to Jürgen Hauschildt, an innovation is basically about something "new": new products, new markets, new procedures, new approaches, new processes, new sales channels, new advertising messages and much more. Innovations are something "new" in their result, which are noticeably different from the previous state. This novelty must be perceptible; only those who perceive the innovation can consider it an innovation. The novelty consists in the fact that ends and means are linked in a hitherto unknown form. This combination must prove itself on the market or within the company (economically). Thus, a given purpose (e.g. driving a car) can be achieved with new means (hydrogen, LPG, natural gas, etc.) or a new purpose can be created with given means (e.g. existing telephone line) (use also for data transmission for the Internet). The mere creation of an idea is not enough - it is only the sale or use that distinguishes an innovation from an invention.

Peter F. Drucker
There are, of course, innovations that spring from a flash of genius. Most innovations, however, especially the successful ones, result from a conscious, purposeful search for innovation opportunities, which are found only in a few situations. Four such areas of opportunity exist within a company or industry: unexpected occurrences, incongruities, process needs, and industry and market changes. Three additional sources of opportunity exist outside a company in its social and intellectual environment: demographic changes, changes in perception, and new knowledge. True, these sources overlap, different as they may be in the nature of their risk, difficulty, and complexity, and the potential for innovation may well lie in more than one area at a time. But together, they account for the great majority of all innovation opportunities.