The paper "Creative Thinking and Innovation Techniques " is a perfect example of business coursework. Creativity and innovation are considered to be close relatives in the field of science and management. Sawyer (2006) argues that there is a need to explain and define creativity well in order for one to identify certain talents in individuals that may not be explicit. He says “ without explaining creativity, it is easy to fail to recognize and nurture individuals with important creative ability. If we hope to solve all of the pressing problems facing our society and our world, we must take advantage of the creative talents of everyone” (p 4).
This indicates the fundamental importance of innovation and creative thinking in the field of management. To achieve creativity and innovation in the workplace, there are a number of techniques that have been proposed by a number of authors that direct thinking in a creative manner that leads to innovation of new products and services. Most importantly, creative thinking and innovation have been categorized into five major fields namely Idea generation Idea implementation Idea selection Problem definition Processes Idea generation is simply the conception of a new idea inspired by needs and other surroundings.
Baxter (73) writes that “ idea generation is at the heart of creative thinking. The ideas produced are the lifeblood of the creative process. They are what puts the ‘ creative’ into creative thinking. ” He further adds that to achieve creative inspiration and generate unique ideas, dissociative thinking is requisite. By this, he implies that there is a need to bring many participants together to make a working connection that is viable enough to generate ideas. However, as one of the many techniques of idea generation, bisociative thinking is often flawed and inefficient since the process of bringing participants together is time-consuming.
This technique, however, is necessary for focus groups, teams and brainstorming meetings. Vogel (2005) in discussing idea generation methodology in creative thinking argues that there is no allocation of time for idea generation in any person or company’ s time schedule. He, therefore, argues that idea generation is a spontaneous process that should be continuous in all aspects and processes. Nonetheless, this does not imply that there are no techniques and ways through which creative thinking and innovation can be encouraged in prearranged time sessions.
Some authors, however, note that many contemporary scholars give weight to the monitoring of the idea generation process and evaluation of ideas but give little attention to the generation of ideas itself (Vogel 2005, Baxter 1995: Sawyer 2006). There are a number of techniques which have been brought forward by different authors with the aim of influencing creative thinking and innovation. Majority of these techniques are categorized as idea generation. This paper explores in depth some common creative thinking and innovation techniques articulating their benefits and limitations in entrepreneurship and commercialization (Vogel 2005). PDCA Michalko (2006) writes that this technique is simply an abbreviation for the plan, do, check and act.
This technique was originally created by one Walter Shewart who combined management thinking with a few statistics to develop a sequence of actions that induce creative thinking and innovation. This technique is favored by most managers as it tends to concentrate on improving existing ideas. As such, the technique is also applicable to total quality management (TQM). Its greatest strength lies in its simplicity in use and its step by step formation that is easier to implement.
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