Business Innovation ? the Value of Being Obvious

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 Value of Being Obvious

One of the most interesting aspects of creativity and innovation is the general perception of obviousness.

A major block that falls under the general grouping "evaluation apprehension," is people's fear of being perceived as obvious or unoriginal. However, there are many benefits to obviousness, including:

a) Being obvious means that you are creatively thinking as opposed to critically thinking. By filtering obvious statements you are evaluating when you should be concentrating on generating a number of ideas that will be evaluated later.

b) Being obvious is a measure of the true self as opposed to the self that is presented to the world. Through sustained obviousness, it is possible to strip away the layers of blocks that prevent good ideas flourishing.

c) By preventing the obvious, you are not controlling evaluation apprehension.

d) Being obvious results in some of the most interesting and valuable ideas.

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

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Kal Bishop MBA, 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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