At ThoughtOffice, we’ve made a real emphasis on helping users move from “idea hamsters” to producers.

Why?

Because in the real world, it’s APPLIED CREATIVITY that moves us forward.

Now, this is not being critical of true artists. People who have the freedom to create with no end game in sight are great.

But in my world, we have to create something of value that people will exchange for some other value (money, for instance).

Here’s a quick blurb from Inside Training Magazine I thought you might appreciate:

Companies that consistently emphasize “delivering value” over creativity are significantly more effective at innovating, according to the 2007 futurethink Innovation Tracker, a survey conducted by innovation research, tools, and service firm futurethink.

The results, determined by an online series of qualitative and ranking questions, and interviews completed by more than 50 senior business executives involved in innovation, reveal a model to try.

When respondents were asked to identify attributes that are key to innovation, greater prominence and attention was given to those attributes that “qualified” ideas. “The free flow of ideas and creativity should not be underestimated,” says Lisa Bodell, chief executive officer of futurethink. “However, they should be viewed as a means to an end, not the end result.”

Respondents chose Apple Inc. as the top innovator for 2007, electing Google to the second position, and Toyota to the third, companies that excel at creativity that has practical applications. “Innovation is not about creating ideas, it is about consistently creating value that translates into sales to positively impact a company’s bottom line,” says Bodell. Additional results from the Tracker identified three key hurdles to innovation: lack of leadership, lack of time to work on innovation, and an organizational aversion to risk. “Respondents provided a clear message,” futurethink said in a statement, “that business growth through innovation begins with effective leadership.”

So, that’s a pretty good reason to work on that “handoff” thing we talk about — keeping your most creative folks creative, and working on the hand-off to the people who produce valuable end products for your clients and customers.

More on this later.

To your continued success,

Mark Alan Effinger
ThoughtOffice Corporation

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