Having Ideas Versus Having a Vision.
By Roberto Verganti
Sunday, 7th March 2010
In the past decade, firms have been praised for ideas; eExperts have celebrated the power of brainstorming and idea-generation techniques.

Eureka light bulbs have populated the covers of many books. Businessmen have been asked to improve their creative attitudes. And 2009 was named the Year of Creativity and Innovation by the European Union.

One consequence of a decade focused on idea generation is ideas are now more easily accessible, which has also made idea generation less of a differentiator in competition than it has traditionally been. When more than 30% of the population belongs to the creative class, as Richard Florida suggested in his 2003 book The Rise of the Creative Class, ideas are not in short supply.

And with the diffusion of open innovation processes, ideas competitions, and the like, executives are increasingly exposed to a wealth of ideas.

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Roberto Verganti is the author of Design-Driven Innovation. Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating what Things Mean and has pioneered research on the intersection of strategy, design and technology management. A professor of the management of innovation at Politecnico di Milano, Verganti also is a member of the board of the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management. He has served as an executive advisor, coach, and educator at a variety of firms, including Ferrari, Ducati, Whirlpool, Xerox, Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, Barilla, Nestlè, STMicroelectronics, and Intuit.

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