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How Are Creativity and Innovation Related?

Young businesswoman sitting on chair with big light bulb aboveIf you’re creative, you can probably do all sorts of things with your mind and hands. You may write poems, paint beautiful paintings, or create interesting designs of paper quilling art. They will be unique. But, does that mean you’re an innovator? No. Nikola Tesla was an innovator. So what is the difference? 

Innovation means coming up with something completely new; something that no one has ever done before. It means inventing a new artistic technique, a new genre in literature, or an entirely fresh approach to doing business.

There’s a difference between creativity and innovation, but these two processes are also interconnected. As a hiring manager, you want to see both in your team.


The Difference between Creativity and Innovation

Let’s clarify the difference in the simplest way possible: by definition.

In Oxford Living Dictionaries, creativity is defined as “the use of imagination or original ideas to create something.”

Innovation, on the other hand, means “a new method, idea, product, etc.”

When you look at it this way, creativity is crucial for writers, painters, musicians, and other kinds of artists. It’s also needed for journalists and marketing experts. But innovation is not isolated from those professions.

In business, in particular, innovation is needed to give a company a push forward. If, for example, you have an app development company and you notice a gap in the market for a specific kind of app, you’ll develop it. For that, you’ll need a creative team that’s able to bring an innovative idea to action. However, you also need innovative people in your team. These are the ones who will analyze the market, notice the gaps, and suggest inventive solutions.


The Connection Between Creativity and Innovation

Creativity can exist without innovation. When a professor asks a student to write custom essays, they must be creative. They need a unique thesis statement. Although the arguments will be based on research, they should expose the student’s own point of view. However, the student is not inventing a new format of an academic paper, style of writing, or anything else that didn’t already exist. Unless they expose an idea that is literally going to change the world, they are just being creative. And that’s okay.

Innovation, however, cannot exist without creativity. Creativity is its starting point. Before Nikola Tesla became an inventor, he was a creative thinker. He accumulated a large base of knowledge, and he managed to combine it with his imagination, so that he would come down to the unique outcome.

In fact, there are three levels of creativity, with invention being one of them.


three levels of creativity


1. Creativity /discovery

This is the moment when the creative person comes to a discovery. It’s a genuine idea that may come unexpectedly, but may also be the result of a lengthy thought process. For example, you get an idea to create a product that fills a gap in the market. The need for creativity will not stop at this point. It’s the thread that connects the entire process.


2. Invention

Invention is creativity brought to a higher level. For example, Mark Zuckerberg’s creative idea led to Facebook. But this is often something that would’ve still happened. If Zuckerberg didn’t create Facebook, someone else would have created something similar. If you don’t fill in this market gap, someone else eventually will.


3. Creation 

Now, this is the highest form of creativity. Mozart created music no one else would’ve created. When you relate creation to business, it’s something that only your organization is capable of. Even if the company does not reach this point, it may still be successful. Innovation, however, is necessary for a business to thrive.


How to Boost Creativity and Innovation among Employees


1. Inspire Your People to Learn

Before they can think of something that’s not available in the industry, they must first know everything about the industry. Truly creative people don’t wait for bursts of creativity to hit them out of nowhere. They learn and observe the world around them with all their senses.

Therefore, you should inspire your employees to continuously expand their knowledge. Your organization should organize training sessions and pay for online courses on individual bases.


2. Focus on Hiring Creative Individuals

“What have you invented so far?” is not a good question to ask during an interview. Maybe someone still hasn’t invented anything special, but they may still have the creative foundation to do so. Instead, you should evaluate their creativity.

You may do so by asking tricky questions, such as: “What would you change if you were the boss of this company?” Think of several critical thinking questions, so you can see how this person’s mind works under pressure.


3. Bring the Team Together

Put several creative minds in a room and see what happens. You just need to give them a trigger, such as an issue you’d like to solve. Let them be flexible enough to express all ideas and inspire them to build on each other’s ideas.

Such sessions may result in great inventions for your organization.


Creativity and Innovation – Foundational Elements of a Successful Company

A company that nurtures creative and innovative thinking processes is one that has a bright future. These processes are dependent on a hiring manager’s work, since they are the ones who choose the people to become part of the team. That’s why we need to understand the difference and connection between creativity and innovation, so we can drive our organizations to progress.


About the author: Joe McLean is a professional essay writer who creates compelling textual content for some of the best assignment writing service agencies online. During his career, he wrote hundreds of different essays and other types of textual assignments for high school students, college graduates, and others who are in need of fast and reliable textual content.

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