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A Structured approach to forming creative teams in new product development

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Creativity is strongly influenced by the way individuals are organized. One of the most difficult and important challenges when managing innovation is to identify the individuals within an organization who must work closely with each other in order to maximize the generation of creative ideas. This paper introduces a structured approach to guide managers of new product development organizations on their decisions to form a temporary team (or task force) from which creative solutions would be demanded. Our approach exploits the notion of creative interactions, which recognizes that people trigger the generation of creative ideas when interacting with each other for task-related matters. Our approach is structured in three basic steps: (1) capturing the current organizational structure; (2) measuring creative dyadic interactions; and (3) forming clusters of creatives. The intent of our approach is to identify groups of individuals within the organization who have a history of triggering the generation of creative ideas when interacting with each other. The basic premise underlying this approach is that the occurrence of past creative interactions predicts the occurrence of creative interactions in future design efforts. We design an experiment to test this hypothesis with participants in an Executive MBA programme. We then illustrate our approach by implementing it in the new product development department of a European software firm, and we discuss the organizational implications of implementing this approach.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://flora.insead.edu/fichiersti_wp/inseadwp2010/2010-69.pdf

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Copyright INSEAD. All rights reserved