Management Innovation – Creativity leads to Business Success

5 05 2008

In comparison with Product Innovation, there is very little Management Innovation i.e. how companies do business. This can be proven by just looking at the number of research paper citations for each of these subjects in journals and publications each year. Product Innovation papers outstrip Management Innovation papers many, many times over.

If innovation stems from creativity then it can be argued that business managers just aren’t being creative enough. Is this because managers do not use the right side of their brain enough? Is it because in constantly thinking systemically, logically and rationally then the left side of the brain becomes dominant at the expense of the more creative right side? Probably.

In my previous article below, I referred to the success of Apple Computers in the recent Business Week / Boston Consulting Group Global survey identifying the World’s most innovative companies. I find it interesting that Apple’s core values are based upon delivering a constant flow of new product ideas to customers. Their success in doing this has resulted in record growth of 51% for their Mac computer sales in the last quarter.

I ask myself is there a linkage between their customers and the amount of creativity and innovation they so visibly demonstrate? Unlike most computer companies that pursue sales into major corporations, Apple focus on products for individuals, in particular artists, designers and other creative professionals. So does working with creative customers rub off on their staff and the products they develop? Perhaps?

I was recently reading an article about Alliances and Allies. It said rightly that allies do not need to have common goals to create successful alliances – they merely have to share common enemies. In this respect Apple and their customers share common enemies – Microsoft and the PC manufacturers who run Windows as their operating system. In ignoring the creative professions – described by some in the PC world as “an insignificant minority” in terms of overall global PC sales – are the PC manufacturers missing out on a vital contribution in their product development programme?

What do you think?

For more information about how Cultivar Consulting can help you to invent better ways of doing business go to our website:




2 responses

8 05 2008

I think that’s definitely an interesting question. I might also give as a possibility for Apple’s success their narrow target market. From a marketing perspective, it’s more effective to sell a “jaguar” to a “wealthy, older caucasion male” than a “car” to an “american” for example. Not only does it sell to the target market, but also those who aspire to have attributes of those in the target market. In the previous example, that would be wealth (obviously).

In this case, perhaps it is more effective to sell a “macbook pro” to a “creative design professional”, than a “laptop” to a “business user.” And then, they also pick up those consumers who also want to be considered creative. And it snowballs from there.

9 10 2010
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