July 2015 Download this article as a PDF

Welcome to the July 2015 issue of the Technology Innovation Management Review. This month's editorial theme is Creativity in Innovation, and it is my pleasure to introduce our guest editors: Patrick Cohendet and Laurent Simon, who are professors at the HEC Montréal business school in Canada, where they are also Co-Directors of Mosaic, the Creativity & Innovation Hub.

For this issue, our guest editors have brought together authors from Canada, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States to share their practical and theoretical perspectives on creativity and innovation. Their insights are drawn from diverse domains, including entertainment, gastronomy, luxury goods, power generation and distribution, watchmaking, among others.

In the introductory article, the guest editors, Patrick Cohendet and Laurent Simon, describe the ubiquitous challenge that organizations face today in managing creativity to foster innovation. They highlight the need to manage: i) ideation processes to foster creativity, ii) the tension that exists between the logic of creation and production; and iii) disruptive innovation to transform a traditional industry. This introduction illustrates how the contributions in this issue add to the understanding and practical capabilities required to face this management challenge.

Next, Stephen Cummings, Professor of Strategy at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, Chris Bilton, Reader in the Centre for Cultural Policy Studies at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom, and dt ogilvie, Distinguished Professor of Urban Entrepreneurship at Rochester Institute of Technology, United States, argue that organizations should no longer view creativity as a singular concept. They propose an alternative view emerging from the creativity literature, which is based on three ideas: i) creativity is a cluster of different and discrete qualities, or "creativities"; ii) creativity is a dynamic act of combining creativities, or "creativitying"; and iii) creativity in organizations is the product of multiple activities of groups, and should no longer be viewed as an individual act.

Ignasi Capdevila, Associate Professor at PSB Paris School of Business in France, and guest editors Patrick Cohendet and Laurent Simon, examine creative processes in the case of Ferran Adrià and his team of chefs at the best restaurant in the world: elBulli. The case traces the evolution of the restaurant and the team's approach from humble beginnings through to the development of a creative powerhouse of ideation and innovation. In particular, the article highlights the deliberate coupling and decoupling of creative processes within the restaurant itself and the wider organization, the importance of coding and documentation, and the role of organization ambidexterity in fostering creativity innovation. 

Gilles Garel, Professor of Innovation Management at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) in Paris, France, re-examines the case of the innovative Swatch watch with new information and insights to emphasize the important relationship between creativity and knowledge in innovative projects. For managers, the key innovation lessons derived from this case are: i) to draw upon the knowledge held in existing designs from other domains and ii) to recognize and encourage interaction between the creative concept and the related engineering knowledge required to deliver the innovation.

Joanne Roberts and John Armitage professors and Co-Directors of the Winchester Luxury Research Group at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, United Kingdom, consider the role of creativity in the production and delivery of luxury. Although luxury goods often have strong associations with creativity and innovation based on the artistry, skill, and technology required to produce them, the handcrafted and timeless nature of many such goods requires the preservation of existing production and delivery methods, thereby limiting the scope for radical creative transformations. Through various examples, the authors highlight the complex interaction between luxury and creativity, which managers need to understand so that they know when and where creativity should be embraced and when it should be resisted to preserve the luxury status of their goods and services.

Raouf Naggar, Head of Strategic Development at Hydro-Québec’s Research Institute (IREQ) in the province of Quebec, Canada, shares his organization's business model approach to the development of a knowledge and idea management system to help turn creative ideas into innovation. By applying the business model canvas, developed by Yves Pigneur and Alexander Osterwalder, to the challenges facing the research institute, the organization was able to develop a compelling value proposition for the clientele and stakeholders of the knowledge and idea management system while also gaining an understanding of the resources and activities required to deliver and finance this value proposition.

Finally, guest editor Laurent Simon, interviews Boris Verkhovsky, Director of Acrobatics and Coaching at Cirque du Soleil, about the role of leadership in the management of creative processes. By linking Verkhovsky's experiences and insights with the literature on creativity, Simon derives lessons from the actual practice of leadership for creative collaboration.

We hope you enjoy this issue of the TIM Review and will share your comments online.

For our August and September issues, we are accepting general submissions of articles on technology entrepreneurship, innovation management, and other topics relevant to launching and growing technology companies and solving practical problems in emerging domains. Please contact us with potential article topics and submissions.

Chris McPhee

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Keywords: creativity, ideation, innovation, knowledge, leadership, management, processes