The Discipline of Creativity [MIT Sloan Management Review]
… coming up with creative ideas on demand is only part of the answer. Just as crucial is how ideas link to action. In a business context, creativity is only useful when it leads to innovation. Managers must be able to apply creative thinking in a systematic way that achieves results: revenue growth, delighted customers, a stronger community or some other measure of impact. In addition, ideas must fit with an organization’s strategy or take it in a new, purposeful direction. They must solve real problems for stakeholders such as customers or employees, and they must be able to be tested.
Many brainstorming exercises that companies undertake fall short in this regard.