Innovation management: does the idea fit with the company?
Creativity can be defined as the identification of problems and the generation of ideas, while innovation can be defined as the selection, development and commercialization of ideas.
There are different processes that improve problem identification and idea generation, and similarly, different processes that improve idea selection, development, and commercialization. While there is no sure route to commercial success, these processes improve the likelihood that good ideas will be generated and selected, and that investment in developing and commercializing those ideas will not be wasted.
One of the useful methods of evaluating ideas is to analyze whether the company, team, or individual responsible for turning an idea into a commercial success has the required fit.
The fit with the company can be measured in several ways:
a) Does the idea have a strategic fit with the company? It may be a great idea, but if it doesn’t fit strategically, its development and commercialization can cause long-term problems. In this case there are three options: leave it, license it or create a joint venture.
b) Does the company have the technical expertise to make it work? If not, where can it be found? What is the cost of importing technical expertise?
c) Does the organization have the entrepreneurial competencies to make it work? These include competencies in marketing, new product development, the ability to manage facilities, and highly diverse and dispersed employees. Again, is the idea big enough to justify the expense?
These topics are covered in depth in the Creativity and Innovation Management MSc dissertation, which can be purchased (along with a creativity and innovation audit, good idea generator software, and PowerPoint presentation) at http://www.managing-creativity.com.
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Kal Bishop, MBA
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