Is there a difference between creativity and innovation? While creativity and innovation may intertwine, they are not synonymous. As Theodore Levitt classic definition of creativity and innovation explains, “Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.” Action is what differentiates creativity from innovation, explains Bryan Mattimore in Idea Stormers: “making an idea operational is where the rubber of the good idea meets the road of real-world circumstances.” There is a dance between creativity and innovation from the inception of a creative idea through and into the solution’s implementation.
If innovation is the dance, creativity is the music. Below are some tips to become a better innovation dancer.
- Creativity is the music and innovation is the dance. Creativity and innovation can and should coexist. If creativity is coming up with new ideas, it makes sense to conclude that coming up with additional ideas should continue, even after a good idea has become a solution and has been implemented. The song doesn’t end with one verse.
- Becoming a good innovation dancer requires practicing every day. Creativity and innovation should be a daily focus. We can learn from companies that have put all of their eggs (ideas) into the “one idea basket.” It might be natural to find a good idea, implement the idea, and rest confidently in reaping the rewards. Striving to innovate on a daily basis will ensure the new ideas pipeline continues to be filled.
- Technology keeps us dancing faster and faster. If you haven’t noticed, technology has escalated the rate of change. Everything is moving faster and new apps, software, and hardware seem to appear every day. We have more information at our fingertips than ever before. Organizations must adapt continuously to maintain the status quo. That is the requirement for survival.
- Thriving requires being the one to change the dance. Creativity can be the fuel for continuous innovation. Experts in the innovation field argue for being deliberate and regularly striving to reach new ideas. There is no “living happily ever after” with new ideas. Undoubtedly, every implemented solution will require monitoring for new problems, which can then be turned into opportunities. In other words, tapping into a creative-mindset can be the catalyst for continuous innovation and growth.
- Creative organizations nurture the dancers to get a better dance. Because creativity starts with the individual, corporations would be wise to nurture creativity in employees. It should be considered a key priority for an innovative organization.
Those companies who do not keep time with change and do not continue to grow with creativity and innovation are doomed to become wallflowers, never fully enjoying the dance. What are some ways you see creativity and innovation intertwining? How do you keep pace with the innovation dance?