Innovation Management

Second edition

by Keith Goffin and Rick Mitchell

Chapter 5


Management recommendations

  • Foster an understanding of the different types of creativity in your organization and use this to stimulate a constant flow of ideas.
  • Encourage staff to recognize the importance of actively collecting ideas from outside sources.
  • Take active steps to establish and maintain a ‘culture of innovation’ that supports idea generation.
  • Promote the exchange of knowledge within and between innovation project teams. Recognize and protect knowledge that is vital to the organization.
  • Employ an appropriate combination of market research techniques to identify your customers’ hidden needs.
  • Identify suitable ways to protect innovative ideas from competitors.

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Chapter summary

This chapter covered the second element of the Pentathlon – managing ideas. It explained how creativity is often misunderstood and managers need to look for effective ways to stimulate constant creativity through the exchange of information and knowledge. One of the key areas of knowledge is capturing the elusive voice of the customer. Here, traditional market research has serious limitations and, therefore, companies need to understand and adopt appropriate enhanced approaches. Overall, this chapter explained

  • The nature of individual and team creativity with ideas on how to stimulate creativity levels.
  • Some of the most useful techniques to invigorate the process of generating ideas for new products and new services.
  • The main types of knowledge and how they can be best utilized and, as necessary, protected.
  • The most appropriate ways to conduct market research into customers’ and users’ needs, so that radical innovations can be developed.
  • If the strategic goals of the organization focus on achieving product and technology breakthroughs, then creative links need to be made between the strategy and the generation of ideas. This is the subject of the main case study for this chapter, which looks at Texas Instruments.

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Recommended reading

1. Squires, S. and Byrne, B. (eds) Creating Breakthrough Ideas: The Collaboration of Anthropologists and Designers in the Product Development Industry (Bergin and Garvey: Westport, CT, USA, 2002). [Interesting perspectives on how product design studies can be improved through ethnographic methods.]

2. Couger, J. D. Creative Problem Solving and Opportunity Finding (Danvers, MA: Boyd and Fraser, 1995). [Comprehensive coverage of many creativity techniques and their applications. Unfortunately, gives little information on empirical research into creativity.]

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Learning objectives

  1. To cover the fundamentals of creativity theory and knowledge management.
  2. To explain the concept of hidden needs and describe the leading-edge approaches for understanding customer requirements.
  3. To understand the best ways to protect innovative ideas.

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Multimedia material

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