Creativity Management ? Short Term Goal Setting

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

There are other useful definitions in this field, for example, creativity can be defined as consisting of a number of ideas, a number of diverse ideas and a number of novel ideas.

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.

Short term goal setting

The value of short-term goal setting on creative output should not be underestimated:

a) Short term goals break a task into smaller more manageable parts. What at first seems unfeasible becomes feasible when incremental goals are set. Feasibility is one of the requirements of motivation.

b) Short term goals produce far more output than a "do your best" approach. Write five pages a day and you have a screenplay in a month (first draft only). Do not implement that routing and it will remain unfinished under your bed until your kids grow up. Maybe they can take over the project.

c) Short term goals split the larger task into smaller sets of problems solving exercises. At each stage a problem is identified and the mind begins working on it, usually on various cognitive levels.

d) Awareness of the task is given priority in terms of mind space and actions.

e) Short term goals help build task experience. Task experience is required for making radical leaps or creative leaps.

These and other 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

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Kal Bishop, MBA


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Kal Bishop 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

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