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Successful Innovation: The Philosophy of Creativity

Process: Creative Questions


In philosophy, the goal is the "final cause".  This cause is the first in understanding, but the last in execution.
First, pick types of innovation correct for your organization:
Process Innovation increases profits, efficience and service.
Product Innovation solves customers' needs and demands.
Strategy Innovation adds value and creates new markets.
Value Innovation meets emerging customer needs.  (Kotelnikov 2005)
Second, after general goals, check your organization to see where and how you should start:  company culture, risk tolerance, management team, and company strengths and weaknesses.  (Baldwin 2003)
Third, what is the time scale and project complexity.  You then establish a logical plan. (Baldwin 2003) (Borealis 2005) (Bottom Line 2005)  However, this plan should not be the traditional Phase-Gate Model of successive approvals that have not been clearly defined beforehand.  (Kotelnikov 2005) 
Note the different goals (Kotelnikov 2005) for radical and incremental innovation:  Radical Innovation is a breakthrough idea changing an industry.  Incremental Innovation modifies product or service already existing.  Thus, radical innovation, highly uncertain, needs more flexibility and creativity. 

Creativity Style is important to know.  Different styles of creativity add and enhance each other in the creative process.  (Bottom Line 2005)  Those oriented to stability prefer incremental change, like Edison with 10,083 Patents.  Those oriented to change would rather change the whole organization, like Einstein' relativity theory.  Secondly, Howard Gardner notes multiple intelligences:  music, space, kinesthetic, intrapersonal, interpersonal, linguistic and mathematical.  (Dundon 2002, 21)  Third, William Miller explains four unique styles as visioning, exploring, experimenting, or modifying.  Fourth, Roger Sperry elaborates on the creative right brain and the logical left brain.  Fifth, the Myers-Briggs Types are based on the psychology of  Carl Jung.  (Dundon 2002, 19-20)  Every style of creativity has its value as part of a creative team.

Sustainable Competitive Growth is the ultimate goal of organizations.  This involves:
1.  Core competencies that give the organization competitive advantage.
2.  Distinctive capabilities, and their synargy, for the organization.
3.  Competencies of the organization that are customer-focused.
4.  An organization with a dynamic strategy.
5.  An organization with a culture of innovation.
6.  A plan and a process for continued growth.  (Kotelnikov 2005)
In a resource-based view, there are five criteria for competitive advantage:
1.  The resource is unique.
2.  The resource is difficult to replicate.
3.  The resource or capability is superior to the competition.
4.  The resource or capability is sustainable.
5.  The capability is applicable to multiple siutations.  (Kotelnikov 2005)
In the model formed by the DuPont Center for Creativity, strength in three areas, 1) education, 2) application, and 3) environment, are the characteristics of an innovative organization.  The larger the area of overlap, the greater likeliholld  of successful innovation outcomes.  (Bottom Line 2005)

Questions should be proposed at an early stage. " Who" determines a leader in culture, knowledge, or connections since the bigger the risk, the more trust is required.  "What" is about filling or creating needs, ability to deliver, synergy or appeal.  "Where or Why" inquire about local process, past history, value fulfillment, and goals of wealth or prestige.  "When and How" relate to timing, resources and context.
1.  Do you need a partner?   (Andrews 2004)
2.  Do you have the information on the next enviroment?
3.  Would waiting help?
4.  What's the competition?
5.  Where is the money and power in the equation?
6.  How does innovation relate to the business model?
7.  What is the value of this innovation in the next environment?
8.  Is creativity a passion for your team?    (Slaybaugh 2004) 

A Culture of Innovation is needed for customer and market needs in an age of rapid change.  (Shapiro 2004)  Stephen Shapiro, formerly of Accenture, notes innovation can be an event, a process, or a capability of an organization.  A written action plan is an ideal way to develop innovative ideas in sequential steps that must be performed to accomplish the objective and reach the goal.  (Baldwin 2003)  Start with a simple flow chart or outline.  Consult, and then write out each action step.  Put steps in order and assign resources.  Finish the final draft and review with the team.  Your goal is to develop the most practical application of each idea, implement it in the most effective way, and identify and deal with road blocks.  Charles Prather, formerly of DuPont, promotes such "a business initiative process" to enable magagement and project teams to improve new product development.  (Bottom Line 2005)  This action plan should be part of a publically defined innovation process, documented in maps and charts and communicated in words and acts.  (Kotelnikov 2005) 

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