Creativity and Innovation Management – Personality Testing

Whilst tests measuring the creative or innovative personality exist, there are a number of inherent flaws. Some are noted below:

a) Whether a creative or innovative type exists at all is highly contentious. Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation – universal abilities. Creativity can be defined as producing a number of ideas, a number of diverse ideas and a number of novel ideas – universal abilities. Traits are not stable or transferable across situations. Motivation is a critical factor.

b) Due to the numerous relevant definitions of creativity and innovation, it is clear that a number of differing and distinct competencies are involved. It is unlikely (or rare) that all competencies are present in single individual.

c) Creativity is a cognitive process and case dependent. Not all people produce equal quantities of ideas across tasks and, importantly, the same people do not produce equal quantities of ideas across tasks.

d) Too many assumptions are made. Some have been indicated : the assumption that creativity and innovation are stable and transferable across situations ; motivation and competencies are not accounted for etc etc etc.

e) Collaboration, networking and such are ignored. Intellectual cross pollination results in a higher degree of creative output than is produced by individuals alone.

f) The generalisability, variability and reliability of the test paramters can be disputed.

These 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 http://www.managing-creativity.com.

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Upgrading an Online Article Submission Website for the New Social Networking Medium

Social Networks on the Internet are nothing short of brilliant and their performance is down right stellar in every regard. Social Networks have taken the Internet by storm, but how can an online article submission site cash in on this seemingly unending trend?

I believe that a top online article submission sight ought to get with the NEW MEDIA trend and lead the way. The reader, consumer and authors are better served and can join as one to learn from each other in a net-centric way to promote the forward progression of the species and thought.

Failure to seize this opportunity is a mistake in my humble opinion. This is why a top online article submission site needs to pony up and watch the changes and take advantage of the needs and desires of the readers, authors and their own future. Sometimes change and innovation requires a dagger into the old, in order to maintain the forward progression of both the individual and the whole.

Upgrading an Online Article Submission Website for the New Social Networking Medium is not impossible. Indeed if the article site had enough volume, traffic, authors and was well respected, it could easily implement additional features to allow it to venture into the domain of social networking sites. No it will not be easy, nothing good in life ever is.

But can you even imagine the impact? I certainly hope this article is of interest and that is has propelled thought. The goal is simple; to help you in your quest to be the best in 2007. I thank you for reading my many articles on diverse subjects, which interest you.

The Little Black Book of Innovation

The Little Black Book of Innovation is a how-to book for prospective innovators. Scott Anthony defines true innovation and the different types, explains the history of modern thinking about it, and makes a compelling case for the need for businesses to innovate. Innovation disrupts and transforms companies and markets. A key to innovation is developing solutions for unidentified or unsolved problems. Anthony uses anecdotes to describe the need for innovation, and business successes and failures when attempting to innovate. He moves quickly from background and theory into a practical 28-step program that describes how to generate and test ideas, develop an action plan and organizational structure, and overcome obstacles.

Anthony describes to readers that:

• Innovation does not have to be unique, creative, or new, but it does have to be disruptive. It can be as simple as an incremental improvement to an existing product or service or radical enough to transform existing markets or create new ones.

• Product innovations result in things that are easier to use, more affordable, better, faster, or superficially more desirable than what currently exists. Observing consumers is the best way to discover the need for product innovations. Learning what tasks frustrate people leads to innovation.

• Innovation is necessary. Large companies that fail to innovate risk severe losses in market share to upstart competitors. Current competitive advantages can disappear rapidly. Some companies might have to abandon their core competencies to survive. The innovator’s paradox is that innovation does not seem urgent in good times, but cannot be accomplished quickly enough in times of exigency.

• Everyone can learn how to innovate. Prospective innovators should spend time with customers, ask questions, conduct frequent experiments, network, and learn new and different things.

• Businesses need to allow risk-taking and reward employees for successful processes, rather than results. A focus on outcomes quashes innovation.

• Businesses and entrepreneurs should limit how much they spend developing ideas. Finite resources force a need for innovation.

• The major steps of innovation are coming up with ideas and researching the possibilities, developing a business plan for implementation, testing an idea and evaluating the results, and implementation. The idea-or some aspect of it-is certain to fail, so innovators must be prepared with backup plans and a willingness to fix what does not work.

• Innovators must avoid common pitfalls like attaching too much ego to an idea; making things that are better, more complicated, or more expensive than the market will bear; and impatience for growth.

Are You Unfit to Be a Network Marketer?

The world can be divided, like so many pieces of pie, into personality types. I like to keep it simple. When it comes to network marketing, there are farmers and hunters. One will likely never succeed in network marketing.

My father was a farmer of sorts. Having grown up in the depression era, most people had some familiarity with farming. It was the common way of life. By the time he was an adult he was forced to step one foot into the industrial age and go to work in a factory. Neither farming nor manufacturing fit him very well because he was not really a farmer and manufacturing is a lot like tenet farming without the benefit of fresh air. Dad would have been brilliant 200 years earlier in a world dominated by hunters.

In the time of hunters and gathers the traits and intelligence valued most were the skills of the hunter. He was able to notice the leaf bent out of place and freshly snapped twig while on the track of game. She was able to pick out the one red flower from among multitudes flagging the presence nutritious roots. Hunters are able to focus for hours while on the track of wounded game. Such intelligence was highly valued in those cultures and necessary for survival. Today we call these people ADHD or dyslexic and dismiss them. However, the tide is turning in favor of the hunter’s skills.

If you are a hunter, you will likely love network marketing. You know you are a hunter if:

1. You have an active mind and imagination that is hard to turn off.

2. You are a risk taker. You are not a gambler necessarily but you may buy a lottery ticket on occasion, or risk a little on an off chance investment.

3. You make connections between seemingly unrelated components in order to create unexpected new ideas, strategies and systems.

4. You are relationally and socially skilled. Perhaps that is why you still enjoy staring into the fire and sharing stories with friends. What better metaphor is there for network marketing?

The agricultural and industrial ages required a different personality and set of skills, those of the farmer. It takes a specialized set of skills to farm. Planting time must be planned, seeds stored, equipment repaired and maintained. Each crop requires different planning and preparation. Harvest must be organized, workers hired and storehouses prepared. These are all skills for which hunters are not well suited.

My father finally gave up on farming and manufacturing. He quit a secure job at the local paper mill and sold the farm. With the money he went into business and there found his best fit. He was a hunter.

If you are a farmer, chances are you will not find a fit in network marketing. No worries though. Farmers are great at building nation states, institutions, libraries and governments. What farmers lack in imagination and innovation, they make up for in spades with the ability to organize and prioritize, build and preserve.

Studies show that among the great creators and entrepreneurs are men and women who suffer from dyslexia. Sir Richard Branson, (Virgin Airlines) and Steve Jobs (Apple Computer) are dyslexic hunters. They would make lousy governors or bureaucrats and hire farmers to manage the day-to-day detail while they cast vision and lead. Their disability has gifted them with a special ability to draw innovative connections between unrelated components to create original ideas.

There are personality indicators that can give you an objective profile to help you decide if network marketing is a fit for you. However, chances are your gut has already told you. If the idea of network marketing terrifies you or leaves you puzzled as to why anyone would do it, you are unfit for the profession and likely a farmer. If, on the other hand, networking marketing ignites your imagination and you can’t wait to tell someone about your latest find or the newest prospect, you are a hunter.

Leave the institutional organizing and management to the farmers. They will do their job very well. You go sit by the fire and tell stories. In the new economy, the rewards come plentifully to the socially skilled and relationally gifted. The hunt is on.

Frame Network Made Suitable For WAN Applications

Frame Network functions in WAN facilities that have more secure connection services and greater consistency, making it a lot better compared to the facilities used in the past decades. Frame Relay is catered on the Layer 2 protocol set, enabling it to provide higher performance and more efficiency in transmission. This makes frame relay appropriate for WAN applications like LAN interconnection. Frame relay is an efficient alternative to a network service that is IP-based. The market of frame relay has been around since the 90’s but there is not much technical innovation then. However, although there is not much technical innovation then, there is however a good amount of QoS and the ability to generate higher circuit speed by multiplexing lower circuit speed called multilink. Basically frame relay is a kind of product service.

Frame Network is excellent WAN protocol. Originally, this was designed for ISDN service interfaces. Now it is applied to a range of network interfaces. It is significant to know more about Frame Relay applications for WAN services. It is packet-switched technology that enables its end stations to share the network channel and existing bandwidth. Two techniques are normally applied in packet-switching. These are variable-length packets and statistical multiplexing. Variable packets are utilized for a more efficient transfer of data. The packets switched between various network sections until it reaches the destination. On the other hand, statistical multiplexing controls the network access in packet-switched network. It contains more flexibility in the use of bandwidth, making it an advantage. Many popular LAN networks today are using packet-switched technology.

You might like to ask why an IP-based frame network service is superior. Well because it is wireless. This means you will have permanent circuits from end-to-end or between points. But since it is IP-based, all you have to do is input the IP address for you to obtain connection. However, if there are only few endpoints in a network, it does not matter. For huge numbers of endpoints, there is scalability the factor that works on it. Frame relay is an excellent value. When it comes to cost this is very efficient especially for locations with huge numbers of endpoints. This is especially suitable for a large and stable enterprise with a large network of frame relay. The cost will be minimal, plus a credible application of VoIP.

In general, frame network is designed for telecommunication services aimed at cost-efficiency in data communication during irregular traffic in local area networks and between end-to-end points in the wide area network. Frame relay is able to place data in variable-units called frame and leaves retransmission of data to end-points, thus speeding up the whole data transmission. Frame Network is available from service providers like AT&T and some carriers. This service complements well with Integrated Services Digital Network, also with bandwidth and ATM, and operates in the same way to basic frame relay functions but at higher speed. It requires strong connection during transmission period and may not be suited for video transmissions as it requires a continuous pour of transmission. Nevertheless, both video and voice transmissions can be used in particular circumstances.

A Review of the Global Wellness Innovation SRL Multi Level Marketing Company

I don’t have a lot of information to go off of to review the Global Wellness Innovation SRL Network Marketing Company, but I’ll do my best based on the information I’ve been able to gather. As of now it seems they are only showing up in classified ad sites, as I haven’t been able to find their own website yet. It also seems like they are a trading company out of Bihor in Romania. The company claims to be one of the most diverse industries of this century. They cover the health and wellness industry and are involved in Multi-Level Marketing.

Global Wellness Innovation SRL claims it took them years to research and find the most outstanding products reps could sell to earn a passive residual income with. They claim now, after years of market research, that they have finally found the most trusted manufacturing companies that are now their partners for long-term business. The goal of this company was to create high ticket products in a myriad of diverse markets that combine the best organic products along with cutting-edge manufacturing techniques.

This company claims that by employing this strategy for sourcing products that their company will continue to grow for the long term. This companies mission and emphasis is on Innovation, hence their name. They claim that their name and their methods for introducing products for public consumption will give Network Marketers a chance to earn extra income. The products this company offers are Instant Coffee, Tea, Organic Beauty Products, Food Items, Herbal Remedies and Hot Drinks.

Global Wellness Innovation SRL claims that it is scheduled to launch in 2009. They are offering free registration during the pre-launch process. The company in the past claims to have created Twenty Five Country Wide, and Five Hundred International Premium Bonus Pool Sharing opportunities for the last 3 years in a row. So my hunch is that this company has done some pretty big things in the past already at least that’s what they are saying.

If you do decide to pay to join Global Wellness Innovation SRL you will be part of the Elite Club. All the Elite Club members will split 6% from the companies Country Wide monthly bonus value. You also have a chance to join the International Elite Club. These members will be splitting 2% of the Worldwide Bonus Value. These benefits don’t include the normal MLM Compensation Plan attached to this company. I don’t have any details on exactly how the comp plan works yet, so these details are apparently forthcoming. I’ll keep an eye out and post an update when I hear something new. This opportunity appears to be worldwide since they’re offering Global Bonus Incentives.

What to Consider When Selecting an MLM Network Marketing Product to Sell

MLM network marketing relies heavily on the ability of the marketer to make a sale, but it will be a lot easier for you if the product itself is easy to sell. This is why you must be careful in selecting the company and product you will sell to customers.

Make the wrong choice and you will be straddled with items that you can’t sell. Here are a couple of factors to think about when choosing a business and product:

Rarity/Convenience

A product may not be easy to find and buy, or it may be as common as toothpaste and toilet paper. MLM marketing is always easier for the former, since you are making people aware that a product exists in the first place. It will be much easier for you to do so if the potential customer cannot easily find and purchase the product. You can capitalize on this rarity by providing a product or service the customer may never find without your help.

Necessity/Desire

You might need something without wanting it, or you may want something without needing it. A customer with a desire for your product is relatively easier to sell to than somebody without desire – even if they have a need for it. This is because people that need something without wanting it tend to be more skeptical about matters, making it more difficult to convince them to buy your product. It is ideal to choose a product that fills both desire and need, but prioritize desire if you are forced to choose between the two factors.

Reputation/Innovation

A product may be well-known and relied upon, or it may be totally unknown but depends on its innovative uses to stir up demand.

Sticking with a reputable product is easier to sell, but you will be hard pressed to find new customers that don’t have a supplier yet. Innovative products will be easier to sell – but only if you can convince people to buy something they don’t known and don’t trust. Find innovative products to sell if you are confident in your persuasive skills, otherwise stick to more reliable products if you are just starting out in marketing.These may not sound like much in sales, but they are nonetheless vital factors of a product you should scrutinize. Keep them in mind when choosing an MLM network marketing product to sell, and you’ll find your marketing efforts to be easier and more profitable in the long run!

Successful Marketing Begins During Product Development; 5 Steps Innovators Need To Take Now!

Most individual innovators – inventors, authors, software developers, artists, etc. — assume there is a logical, sequential process involved in getting their products to market. So, most of their initial activities usually focus on getting the invention from the brain to the drawing board to prototype.

Unfortunately, once the prototype is complete, a very large percentage of inventors “hit the wall” and are stymied by how to market their product.

This situation doesn’t need to happen! In fact, many marketing steps can – and should – be taken concurrently, or even prior to, the product taking shape and form.

So, where should you start?

Here are 5 key steps that will help you build a strong foundation for marketing:

1.Begin networking early.

Well-known Minnesota businessman and author, Harvey McKay, says it all in the title of his networking book: Dig Your Well Before You Need It. If you have not cultivated key contacts in your area of expertise by the time your product is ready to market, you will waste precious months, even years, knocking on doors that probably would have swung open to you if you had developed key relationships while working on perfecting your invention.

2.Conduct initial market research before you approach the drawing board.

While some innovations don’t seem to make any sense at all, most are designed to solve some sort of problem. As the innnovator, your problem is to be sure that there are enough other people who are seeking your solution. If there are not enough potential consumers, do you really want to spend your time and money for things like prototypes and patents or editors and copyrights? So, head for the library or retail outlets or any other place that will give you a sense (a) if something similar already exists or (b) if retail buyers or customers are looking for what you can create.

3.Protect your product as soon as it is feasible to do so.

Just recently I talked with an inventor who had some interest in coaching. What I soon discovered was that a major magazine was about to feature his invention in depth (Great for marketing, right?), but he had not yet secured a patent! At the end of our conversation, I referred him to a patent attorney and suggested we discuss coaching at a later time. Of course, not every product carries a patent, copyright or trademark, but if your idea has strong market potential, as this man’s did, you will want to be sure that you have retained an intellectual property attorney and that all of your legal protections are in place.

4.Discover a wide variety of vendor resources.

While innovation can be a lonely process, it’s not something you can do successfully by yourself. As soon as your idea takes shape in your mind is the time to connect with prototype providers, raw materials vendors, manufacturers, publishers, art dealers, marketing consultants, a coach, accountants, and other professionals you will need along the way. If you don’t know anyone in these fields, start asking questions and attending meetings of local professional groups, the Small Business Administration and tradeshows. Then, start talking to the vendors you meet, so when your product is ready, you will already have these key relationships in place.

5.Planning to self-market? Educate yourself now, reserve your domain name and find ways to connect with your potential market.

We’ve all heard the stories about internet marketers who make $500,000 “overnight”. While some may actually happen that way, there is almost always a “story behind the story” in these situations. Usually, you will find that the Internet entrepreneur has spent months or years learning the secrets of Internet copywriting; works with a technical assistant to produce the marketing website; supports the website with product “pre-launch” communications; and has a loyal following of 1,000 or more customers already in place. So, what appears to be an “overnight success story” is frequently the culmination of becoming computer and Internet savvy over a long period of time. In short, just as with networking, you need to “dig your internet well before you need it”, and the time to start digging is while you are creating your product.

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Managing Creativity and Innovation, Part 1 of 2

Leaders, consultants and managers must be competent in at least thirteen domains to even begin effectively managing creativity and innovation. Part 1 of Managing Creativity and Innovation covers the first seven of these domains.

a) The difference between creativity and innovation. Often used interchangeably, the two must be thought of as separate and distinct. One definition for creativity is that it is problem identification and idea generation, whilst innovation is best described as idea selection, development and commercialisation. These definitions alone imply at least six competencies (including one holistic). At a minimum, the differences mean that, at each stage, varying skills, processes and structures are required.

b) The size and richness of idea pools. Initially creative thinking is used to generate an idea pool and then critical thinking reduces those ideas to feasible ones. To maximise the quantity and quality of the idea pool, a conscious application of processes and techniques must be applied. Some of these include:

1) Using a variety of stimuli and frameworks to open up pathways.

2) Not stopping when a good idea seems to present itself.

3) Consciously stimulating change in direction.

4) Distinguishing between the numbers of ideas produced, their novelty, diversity and frequency of production.

c) Creative types. There is common belief that some people just are more creative and certain theorists argue for creativity characteristics such as tolerance of ambiguity and intolerance for conformity. However, traits are notoriously difficult to detect and not stable nor transferable across situations. Also, motivation is thought to be more important than traits – this is similar to possessing high intelligence – one must be motivated to improve and apply it.

d) Learning versus Talent. Can creativity be learned and developed or is it a natural talent or gift? The best way to answer this question is to investigate whether creativity improves with practice. The experience curve, automisation, learning theories and the experiences of practitioners suggest that people do get better at generating more, better, diverse and novel ideas – but there are caveats, such as an increase in path dependency and peaks and troughs in motivation.

e) Motivation. Someone with natural ability or placed in the right environment may not take advantage of it unless motivated. Intrinsically motivated individuals tend to expend more effort and create more output and synergistic extrinsic motivation better enables a person to complete an endeavour. On the other hand, non-synergistic extrinsic motivation leads to a person feeling controlled and manipulated and is incompatible with intrinsic motivation. Specific motivators such as material reward, progress to the ideal self, self-determination, self-evaluation, feedback, enjoyment, competency expansion, recognition and feasibility can all be quantitatively measured and monitored.

f) Organisational Culture. We can all be more creative, so what is stopping us? Often people complain of some degree of evaluation apprehension – this manifests itself in many ways but two of the most common are a fear of seeming unintelligent or unoriginal. Some cultures are more risk averse than others, others do not manage competition well and yet others engender friction by misallocating resources.

g) Organisational structure. Many theories argue that certain structures, such as hierarchical and mechanistic, hinder creativity and innovation. Whilst these theories generally tend towards validity, there are many reasons why a business has a particular organisational structure – history, logistics, market segmentation, product line, strategy and so forth – therefore it is unreasonable to ask a firm to change it. Ultimately, what managers need, is a knowledge of the properties of a fostering structure so that they may incorporate those elements into their existing one.

This field yields much interesting data. For example, many respondents argued that all structures, even those so-called flat structures, are in reality hierarchical.

Some very simple changes can be implemented. These include:

1) Direct communication links to decision makers.

2) Cross-divisional information flow.

3) Tangible progress of ideas.

Part 2 of Managing Creativity & Innovation will discuss Group Structure, Knowledge, Networks and Collaboration, Radical and Incremental Creativity and Innovation, Structure and Goals, Process and Valuation.

The Absolutely Best Way to Innovate – Get Others Involved in the Process

There is no doubt that in our modern society innovators and entrepreneurs are held in high esteem. We consider individuals who possess these skills as the up-and-coming champions of business.

The truth is that very rarely does real innovation or entrepreneurship happen in a vacuum. Of course, there are those famous ‘brain flashes’ and ‘strokes of genius’ – the “Eureka” moments of inspiration.

More often than not, true innovation is a process that combines inspiration, group input and the right environment for it to flourish. It is not a “Solo Sport”.

What is more commonplace is that innovation – and as a corollary – entrepreneurship – are products of incrementalism. They are the byproduct of small and constant changes and tweaks.

Keith Sawyer in his book “Group Genius” introduced the scientific methodology called interaction analysis to the study of creativity. His findings support that inspiration and innovative ideas usually come from interactions – both socially and in a business setting – that have percolated over time.

The romantic notion of the inventor or entrepreneur holed up alone in their office only to emerge with that ‘aha’ moment or idea is almost never the norm. Perhaps great for a movie or TV script – but not great for business.

In my view, this Solo Innovation model is actually not the best way to move the ‘dial’ forward in a business.

Let me explain why.

Businesses should be created and grown for a maximum return on investment. That almost always means having a long-term viewpoint, because it takes time to development the efficient business model, fine-tune the business assets and create the most added-value and viable product or service.

In order to accomplish this, it is imperative to create a strong business core. This core is the internal business dynamo that keeps the company moving forward from startup through high growth and into maturity.

One of the cornerstones of any good business core is the establishment of reproducible and effective business processes. Unfortunately, this concept is often glossed over or completely overlooked at the startup phase. But it shouldn’t be.

Innovation, and with it the need for and knowledge of how to change for the better is a business muscle that makes up part of the core. And it cannot reside with just one or two people in an organization. It has become part of the business DNA, something that everyone recognizes as important.

A good business develops a reproducible process of innovation.

Brainstorming is one traditional method that has been used for decades as a sparkplug for ideation and innovation. It’s allows individuals in a group setting to throw out ideas for consideration. One of the problems with brainstorming – similar to business meetings – is that without a disciplined process – it can lead to lot of ‘talk’ with no action. Furthermore, many people may refrain from participation due to a fear of failure, ridicule or desire to keep their best ideas to themselves until a more opportune time.

Many researchers and businessmen, like Drew Boyd suggest turning the innovation process around – breaking down successful products and processes into separate components – and then studying these parts to identify other potential uses.

This process of “Systematic Inventive Thinking” – which evolved from the work of Russian Scientist Genrich Altschuller, creates what are called ‘pre-inventive’ ideas that can be expanded into innovations.

Perhaps the Japanese proverb sums it up best ” none of us is as smart as all of us”. Innovation is a team sport. The best innovations happen when a network of people of diverse background approach a problem together.

In the past decade the concept of group work has become the norm in high tech startups. In some way – this is a derivative of how teaching is being conducted at colleges and Universities. Young professionals are familiar with and quite comfortable with group study projects. It is only natural to move this process from Academia to the business world.

Which takes me to the business accelerator. These new entities are being touted as the ‘incubator’ for the next generation of businesses, as the laboratory for new business ideas. Similar to a university – what you get out of the experience is directly correlated to the efforts that you put into it. Those in a business accelerator that don’t learn to use the collaborative nature of an accelerator/incubator to nurture their innovation will graduate with a weaker business core.