Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Are you creative or innovative?

innovative creative
Puzzle picture taken from oneextrapixel.com

I was asked to write 10 blog post about Innovation and creativity for IT Entrepreneurship and Innovation class. Each students will have to make a contribution. Cracking my head on what to write, I would like to start with the definition. Many could have known the meaning, but some may not even have a clue what's the meaning of these two words. Let's begin.

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding creativity and innovation. You better believe they’re actually different.

I came across to this definition by Jim Link which I think very short and easily understood, Creativity is a skill and innovation is a process. That’s how they differ. The skill of creativity is applied throughout the process of innovation to improve the likelihood of success. The terms are inextricably linked because creativity is critical during the innovation process —i.e., if no ideas are generated, there is nothing to implement.

Taking this to an example, Thomas Edison invented the first commercially practical incandescent light. So, he innovated the creative idea of making practical incandescent light commercially. In other words, he made it real which was originally just an idea into stages of implementation.

Creativity leads to implementation. Innovation requires it.
Innovation requires creativity. It has to work hand in hand that you can’t have innovation without creative thinking. It is common for most people to perceive that creativity happens at the front end of the innovation process. Yet creative thinking are required throughout the process in order to ensure that the concept makes it to introduction to the world in order to capture value. The iPod alone is innovative no doubt about it, but think of all the acts of creative thinking that were required to deal with issues around design, assembly, manufacture, software, user interface, music rights, interoperability, pricing, etc.

Innovation is a team sport

Creative thinking may happen as an individual act or with a team, however, innovation almost always requires people working together to make it happen from different places in an organization or throughout its value chain (for example for a consumer product: consumer research, product development, marketing, manufacturing, finance, sales, distribution, service, etc.). Yes, innovation is a team sport whereas Creativity, not necessarily so.

Creativity vs. Innovation
Teresa Amabile and her colleagues (1996) once wrote that, “All innovation begins with creative ideas… [Creativity] is necessary, but not a sufficient condition for [Innovation].” Yes, creativity is a crucial element required for innovation. But creativity itself, can't never leads to the implementation of an innovation, at least not in an organizational setting. But yet it is crucial to the success and growth of an organization.

So as a leader or management, which would you focus on, creativity or innovation? More often than not these attributes occur together as creative people are also very likely to be innovative. Creativity without innovation may never have any impact because only the latter ensures that new ideas are implemented.


  1. Replies
    1. bila orang cerita tentang sesuatu dan tiada ada nak komen. Muaz ajar! haha

    2. comel muaz! krik krik..actually aku pun tak berapa nak reti komen pasal ni tapi nama pun assignment. gasak je la


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