Some corollary comments

Most spoken or written sentences are unique. Many qualify as being creative. Very few are significant. What, then, constitutes “significance” or “quality of creativity”? The evaluation is subjective, being related to newness (to the one who does the thinking, to his or her associates, or to society at large), association span, complexity of the problem, and significance of the consequences. The brain does not differentiate between more or less important creative thought. There is no indication in neurophysiological or cognitive-psychological terms of any difference in process between insignificant creativity and important creativity leading to significant innovation. The difference in an individual’s qualitative level of creativity may result from the availability of significant “building blocks”, the range of associative links available, and the recognition of significant consequences (see the example of Wallace’s recognition of the theory of evolution).

In the practical world, as in industry, unlimited creativity is not always desirable. Any group or company can afford only so many new ideas or perspectives. What often counts for success is the detailed implementation of an idea through many small steps of practical design and testing.

This leads to the problem of innovation management. Some inventors (but, by far, not all) inventors possess sufficient focus and discipline to work efficiently. Others need a degree of supervision for goal-oriented efficiency. Supervisors are necessarily somewhat structured, result oriented, and authoritarian, whatever style they adopt. Good inventors are, by nature, anti-authoritarian and explorative, and they often think in multiple perspectives.

Optimizing creativity may require a combination of tension and competitiveness for focus enhancement and undisturbed relaxation for inclusion of right-sided creative thought.

A more serious problem of innovation management lies in prioritizing ideas based on judgment of economic feasibility. This judgment is one of the most valuable qualities of management.