Managing innovation means first freeing creativity

The Searchlight looks at creative freedom and innovation management. Also: the biggest data question, the next killer app, Facebook's future and more.

Innovation and creativity are not the same thing. This might not come as a big revelation, but too often companies treat the two as if they're one and the same. Here's a simple way to tell the difference: If you can measure it, it's innovation. This week's lead Searchlight item talks about the metrics you can use for managing innovation, starting with the importance of using a common language when crafting ideas into innovations.

Karen GoulartKaren Goulart

Common language is a key first step, author Drew Marshall says, because your employees who have the biggest ideas might not technically be your innovators. They might have the ideas but not know what to do with them. Top companies like Google famously set aside time for employees to explore innovation -- but what they're really encouraging, Marshall contends, is that necessary first step -- some free time for minds to wander. Creativity precedes innovation.

Last summer at the Gartner Inc. Catalyst conference in San Diego, I joined a packed hall of IT leaders who sat in rapt attention during a keynote address from famed graffiti artist (and former entrepreneur) Erik Wahl. Bounding around the stage and through the audience, he encouraged people to remember and embrace the creative freedom of their youth, pausing only to paint perfect pieces of pop art before their eyes. The audience exploded into a standing ovation, which to me translated as "Yes! Get me a canvas!" There was definitely a buzz, and maybe that buzz carried people through the day. Maybe it was just the pep talk some of them needed to get their creative juices flowing again. Here's hoping that back home, those big ideas were met with the guidance needed to transform them into real-life innovations.

Check out SearchCIO's own coverage of
these topics

Boston CIO uniting citizens and the city through gamification

CIO advises focus on making mobile applications 'killer apps'

Cracking the big data analysis code

Before you run out and buy a set of oil paints, check out the rest of this week's roundup which includes a look at perhaps the most critical battle in the data wars -- the next killer mobile app, why Facebook is so last year and more.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Karen Goulart, Features Writer.

Dig deeper on Leadership and strategic planning

Pro+

Features

Enjoy the benefits of Pro+ membership, learn more and join.

Related Discussions

Karen Goulart, Senior Features Writer asks:

Does your company have a strategy for managing innovation?

0  Responses So Far

Join the Discussion

0 comments

Oldest 

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchCompliance

SearchHealthIT

SearchCloudComputing

SearchMobileComputing

SearchDataCenter

Close