Creativity and Innovation are two different terms and they technically have different meanings. Creativity means originality, imagination and inventiveness that are brought out through resourcefulness. Innovation, on the other hand refers to modernization and improvement over an existing idea.
In this way, it is true that creativity and innovation are two different terms and cannot be used interchangeably. Yet, they have been used interchangeably in several areas or walks of life, including business and management as well as technology. In this way the main distinction between creativity and innovation, being the originality has been ignored and as the line between creativity and innovation is thin, it becomes even more difficult to distinguish between these terminologies.
Innovation is an important aspect of growth and development of individuals, organizations, cultures and societies. Innovation and creativity refer to bringing in new ideas to life. Innovation can be achieved strategically through a process of creativity. This helps bring in a lot many new ideas in the firm and also develop a platform for breakthrough innovations.
It helps a firm be open to new ideas and develops the learning process in an organization. It can help a firm build upon its competencies as well as grow and earn favorable environment for progressing. It also can help a firm take advantage of the information it has and opt for a lot many new product developments.
Yet, there are several differences between innovation and creativity. Creativity involves the usage of originality whereas innovation is more about using already existing innovations for the purpose of improving upon it and using it for either a better usage or for commercialization purposes.
Today, Google is recognized as one of the world’s most innovative companies. There are several conscious efforts made by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to increase innovation and creativity at the company. There have been several conscious efforts by them. They consciously focus on encouraging employees to keep an open mind, have a questioning attitude, and generate new ideas in order to maintain this level of inattentiveness in the organization. They use the genuine form of leadership and transformational form of leadership.
There have been several model examples of innovation in the past. The recent most example of the i-pad as well as several other automobiles with environment friendly features of companies like Toyota and Ford can be considered as model examples of radical innovation.
Innovation and creativity refer to bringing in new ideas to life. Innovation can be achieved strategically through a process of creativity. This helps bring in a lot many new ideas in the firm and also develop a platform for breakthrough innovations. It helps a firm be open to new ideas and develops the learning process in an organization. It can help a firm build upon its competencies as well as grow and earn favorable environment for progressing.
Technological innovation was extremely important for America as it helped in supporting the industrial revolution. Technological innovations led to mechanization and then this was followed by the process of large scale production which helped in achieving economies of scale. In this way it became possible for better development of businesses.
The Toyota Production system, assembly line production and several other revolutionizing and dynamic changes and systems came into formation. These were greatly responsible for bringing in standardization, large scale production and concepts of continuous improvement which eventually led to the development of change management as a separate discipline.
An example of technological innovation is computerization and usage of information systems. The advent of computers and information technology, though in its initial stages, led to a revolutionized opening up of opportunities in several domains including education. Innovation and creativity refer to bringing in new ideas to life. One of the most recent examples of innovation is the i-pad. Apple Inc’s famous boss Steve Jobs recently uncovered yet another series of i — devices namely i-Pad. I-Pad is a kind of a electronic note pad that seeks to revolutionizes how media content is browsed. The world has been waiting for a technology product that can be used as a mobile phone as well as a computer. Finally Apple came up with the i-pad and surprised many in the world with the launch of a tablet computer-the i-Pad that represents a new style of media use in the present age. The i-pad is a breakthrough and shall form a new definition for digital devices. It shall start a new category of digital products. It has given the customers more than what they had expected and beyond their imagination.
Innovation can be achieved strategically through a process of creativity. There are 4 steps that help generate ideas and concepts. This includes:
- getting the info
- thinking about it
- realization, eureka factor
- evaluation/ implementation (link to innovation)
The very first step includes gathering of information. It includes data collection and information management. Information in today’s world of business creates opportunities and provides competitive edge. Timeliness and accuracy of information are very essential to a business. The present business scenario is well developed and well equipped with sophisticated technology to handle bulks of information. But the most important task is the filtering of useful and critical information. This makes information management a very important function and a criterion to achieve operational efficiency. Then it helps in being able to pick the best of the ideas and implement them.
Information management refers to the process of collection and management of information from one or several sources of data and processing it to suit the needs of the users. It also involves dissemination and distribution of information. It aims at making processes and operations more efficient by enabling access to accurate and timely information. Information management largely involves conversion of media of storage of information from paper records to the electronic medium. Information and knowledge sharing are of great use for creativity and innovation.
There are different levels of creativity between different personalities. Some people are born with entrepreneurial qualities and are able to commercialize creative thoughts immediately and effectively. Some people are extremely talented and have an aptitude for creativity. But only a few of them have risk taking abilities and can convert ideas into businesses. This is the difference between creativity and innovation. It is the implementation aspect which is extremely important.
Innovation comes in between each stage. It begins with invention and outsourcing or extension, where in the idea is sold to someone who can commercialize it effectively and efficiently. Then the duplication process might take place. It is extremely important to protect an invention and not let piracy take place. Patents and copyrights are a great way to protect inventions, thus making innovations worth the efforts.
It is important to create continuous learning and encourage innovation in an organization, especially a technology oriented organization. This would lead to dynamism in an organization and avoid stagnation of any sort. This would help bring in new product development in an organization and prove to be of great importance. This is so because in order to stay competitive in the market and to develop new customer bases as well as a loyal and satisfied customer base.
They would ensure is that there is a managerial transition as well as a cognitive transition. This helps the firm develop and also be open to new ideas. As there is more and more learning in the organization, automatically there would be a chance for a break through innovation. This increased probability of new product development leads to higher success rates of the company and at the same time leads to development of competencies, provides a higher competitive advantage and also helps handle competition in a better way. Implementing all of these in an organization would definitely bring in better revenues and help an organization propel ahead of competitors. Innovative products, when patented also help create entry barriers in the industry and reduce the threat of new entrants. All of this helps the organization create and acquire favorable conditions in the industry as well as the environment. The advantage that these concepts of developing a strong new product development process are extremely helpful to organizations as they can help transform organizations and obtain a better format of planned and intervened new product development.