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Creativity, Innovation and Quality
By Dr A. Blanton Godfrey
(Former) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Juran Institute, Inc.

I. THREE LINKED IDEAS: CREATIVITY, INNOVATION AND QUALITY Creativity, innovation and quality - what do these three possibly have in common?

For any business to be successful, we need all three. Creativity drives the generation of ideas, and we need these constantly. We must continually reinvent our businesses. We must unleash the imagination of everyone in our organization. We must create the playfulness and fun to unleash this imagination.

Albert Einstein knew that great thinkers don't have to take themselves too seriously and that: "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -Albert Einstein

Innovation is the necessary step to turn these ideas into useful products and services, something we can provide to our customers, and something we can sell. Quality, the entire set of tools now known as total quality management or TQM, is the way we ensure that we know our customers, their needs and expectations, and how we are going to meet these needs and exceed their expectations. Quality also helps us continuously improve our products and services and to continuously reduce our costs of providing them. In this paper we'll try to pull together these three elements of successful entrepreneurship. All three elements - creativity, innovation and quality - have been studied extensively and independently. There are numerous books (or even libraries) about all three. At the end of the handout, we list some of the ones that we have found most useful. What we hope to do here is give some new insights on the interactions of the three. We wish to provide some new ideas on managing all three together for breakthroughs in organizational performance. Today we are going to focus more on the growth side of quality, not so...

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