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Innovation Management: The Power of Emotional Attachment

Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation whilst innovation can be defined as idea selection, development and commercialisation.

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 mere definition of innovation implies a break from the past, something new. However, one of the crucial aspects that many innovators fail to consider is the power of emotional attachment to existing products, methods and practices.

Two good examples include New Coke and British Airways.

Forced to address the issue of losing market share to Pepsi, Coke came up with New Coke only to find that existing customers equated Coke with America itself. Not only was Coke a symbol of America but Coke grew up with America in the Twentieth Century. It was as American as arrogance and Thanksgiving. Changing it meant tampering with people's identity.

British Airways re-branded itself by taking away the national flag on its tailfin and modernising with designs of arts and crafts from around the world. Much to the chagrin of its customers and accountants. The outcry caused BA to rethink and revert back to its former true Brit self.

Emotional attachment is one of the factors that can be measured along the S-curve, a model for predicting the practical impediments that may inhibit successful innovations.

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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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 http://www.managing-creativity.com


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