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Innovation and Creativity

Hello everybody,

Innovation is one of the critical success factors for organizations. It is essential for business to understand the driving forces of innovation. We investigate the impact of the following three factors on innovation: employee relationship, knowledge sharing and IT application maturity. We will take these factors because they have significant impact on innovation. We further extend the investigation to individual creativity as a corresponding concept to organizational innovation.

As I said before, innovation is one of the critical success factors for organizations, often referred as the intentional introduction and application of ideas, processes, products or procedures which are new and could become benefit. With innovation we have to give new ideas and technologies, that’s why creativity is needed, in addition to the implementation process. Innovation can improve product quality and business operation, which is essential for gaining competitive advantages.

Let’s trying to maintain the principle of the primacy of the individual (creativity) over the business (innovation), we stressed the cognitive and emotional processes (when speaking of creativity) and power of communication (when it comes to innovation)

Innovation and Creativity

Edward de Bono on innovation vs creativity how's it different :

Innovation and Creativity


Creativity and Innovation at Individual level


After these videos, we can see that at the individual level, is it fairly simple to separate creativity from innovation. Creativity may be seen as growth, or development of the human will as a central cause of action and creation. Each individual is unique and can create something new different and unexpected out of past experience.

Recognising creativity as a self-attributed concept, used by people to describe their acts at any moment is, in a sense, using implicit theories of creativity. It lies in how each individual organises and incorporates the perception of reality in his or her own self. Striving for mastery and perfection, the expression of one’s own individuality and sharing with others, become essential parts of the core construct of creativity, which may, then, encompass a wider array of activities, products, processes and performances.

Creativity seems then to acquire its full meaning as a process of communication between the creator (and the product) and the judges or audience (hetero-attributed), or between the creator and the product (self-attributed). Innovation seems to be more appropriate to designate the resulting attribution made by the audience a propos the product, as depicted in Figure 1



Innovation does not necessarily need creativity to emerge, for it can be reached by introducing new techniques and technologies, it cannot be ignored during the adaptation process required to succeed in the market.

While individual creativity seems always to be the starting point, because it may exist even in the absence of innovation, the organization depends on it to innovate. It is easy to get ideas; difficult is to implement a system to turn creativity into profitable business.

That’s why we can say that innovation doesn’t depend only of individual creativity – Autonomy, information, reward system, education or training - but also from collective level – Participation in decision making or the team cohesion.

So what is the best climate for creativity and innovation?

Climate for creativity and innovation


Components of the innovative organization :

On the one hand, we can conclude that some environmental factors DESTROY creativity and contribute to stifling innovation; these include:

  • Dominance of restrictive vertical relationships
  • Poor lateral communications
  • Limited tools an resources
  • Top-down dictates
  • Formal, restricted vehicles for change
  • Reinforcing a culture of inferiority (innovation always has to come from outside to be any good)
  • Unfocused innovative activity
  • Unsupporting accounting practises

On the other hand, we can also say what climates factors are influencing innovation:

  • Trust and openness
  • Challenge and involvement
  • support and space for ideas
  • Conflict and debate
  • Risk taking
  • Freedom

Now let’s talk about leadership promoting which represents one of the most important for innovation in a creative climate. The approach is clear because it needs for a third factor in assessing leadership behaviour, in addition to the traditional concerns for task and people. These three dimensions are: concern for tasks, concern for people, and concern for change.

One of the most important roles that leaders play within organizational settings is to create the climate for innovation.


Now I want to do exercise for you, if you want to know if your group is powerful…

Take any group of people and ask them to think of different uses for an everyday item - a cup, a brick, a ball, and so on. Working alone they will usually develop an extensive list - but then ask them to share the ideas they have generated. The resulting list will not only be much longer but will also contain much greater diversity of possible classes of solution to the problem. For example, uses for a cup might include using it as a container, a mould, a musical instrument, a measure, a template around which one can draw, a device for eavesdropping and even, when thrown, a weapon !

The psychologist J.P. Guilford classed these two traits as "fluency" - the ability to produce ideas - and "flexibility" - the ability to come up with different types of idea. The above experimeny will quickly show that working as a group people are usually much more fluent and flexible than any single individual. When working together people spark each other off, jump on and develop each other's ideas, encourage and support each other throught positive emotional mechanisms like laughter and agreement - and in a variety of ways stimulate a high level of shared creativity.


After having resumed all these factors, we can now say which type of firms could be creative:

Type of firms

What about the Type D firm?

Creative firm operate at the international knowledge frontier and take a creative and pro-active approach to exploiting technological and market knowledge for competitive advantage and do so via extensive and diverse networks. They are at ease with modern strategic frameworks for innovation and take it upon themselves to “re-write” the rules of the competitive game with respect to technology, markets and organization. Strong internal resources are coupled with a high degree of absorptive capacity which can enable diversification into other sectors, where their own skills and capabilities bring new advantages and re-define the ways in which firms traditionally compete, or wish to compete.

Some creative firms emerge from traditional and mature sectors to challenge the ways business is conducted. For example, Nokia moved from pulp and paper into electronics and eventually became a world leader in mobile telecommunications, showing it was possible to make very high margins in the production of handsets within the developed countries, when most competitors’ believed it was impossible to achieve this goal. It is now in the throes of reinventing itself again, moving from being a mobile phone handset maker to providing an open-source platform on which a wide range of products and services can be built to exploit mobile communications, computing and entertainment. Another example is IBM, which transformed itself from being a “dinosaur” of the computer industry, to one of the fastest growing, most highly profitable information technology and consulting services companies in the world.


Interesting video about this topic, according to Vijay Govindarajan

References :

Managing Innovation, Integrating Technological, Market and Organizational Change, 5th Edition, J. IDD

Creativity, Innovation and Collaborative Organizations
, De Souza

An empirical investigation on organizational innovation and individual creativity, Jianping Peng, Guoying Zhang, Zhengping Fu and Yong Tan, 2013

Discuss & brainstorm

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Gr8 Blog page, Good! Kind Regards Heli A-I
anonymous   (08.10.2014 12:00)