Creativity and Innovation: Are they the Same Thing?
Creativity and Innovation
These terms are often used interchangeably when describing new ideas, processes, and products but there is a key difference that is worth considering. Creativity exists only in our minds until we use it to do or create something. Innovation is when we ACT on our creative thoughts. How do we know if someone is creative? Well, we're all creative in a way, but there are those people who frequently contribute interesting or unique ideas to a conversation. How do we know if that same person innovative? There will be products of their creativity to point to for evidence.
Innovative people are creative, but not all creative people are innovative.
In the realm of Innovation
We might better understand innovation in contrast to other terms having to do with creating or shaping systems. Of course, these are overly simplistic statements, but they create an idea space to understand how innovation is different from other forms of change.
- Rehabilitation returns a damaged system to a previous state.
- Renovation improves existing systems.
- Reformation modifies existing systems based on a familiar model.
- Transformation shifts from one known system to another known system.
- Innovation is creating completely new systems.
Acting on Creativity
How many of us have awesome ideas but never get around to doing anything with them? Translating ideas into actions is hard, takes energy and commitment. Whether the restraints are logistical, motivational, or legal, there are plenty of creative ideas that never have a chance to live in the world (and plenty that probably shouldn't!).
My own personal challenge is to do more translating, to act more on creative thoughts, to have some product that could be used elsewhere. This blog has been part of that effort - sharing and deconstructing innovative efforts and identifying their utility. "But what have I done..." is the reflective question I ask that leads to the goal oriented statement, "What will I do..."
Always enjoy hearing others' thoughts (creative or otherwise).