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Creativity and Innovation

Executive Summary

Creativity is the ability to come up with new and unique ideas. Innovation, on the other hand is the implementation of new ideas. Therefore, there cannot be innovation without creativity. However, it is possible to be creative without being innovative, especially when the new ideas are not implemented. Innovation and creativity also have close relationship with entrepreneurship because they also incorporate creation and implementation of new ideas. Challenges and competition are the main factors driving creativity and innovation, especially in a business environment. Other external environmental factors like leadership and organizational culture also influence creativity and innovation. In many cases, creative people are nurtured by creating enabling environment and through the use of thinking tools. Creative and innovative people, therefore, play an important role in the success of individuals and organizations.

For over decades, creativity and innovation have been liked to success of individuals and organizations. Individuals and businesses are encountering new problems almost on a daily basis that calls for creative and innovative solutions. Only businesses that have been able to be creative and innovative have been able to maintain success, even in times when their peers are facing various difficulties in a business environment (Heilmann & Korte, 2010). Such businesses do not directly copy what their competitors are doing; instead, they borrow ideas used by others to create new products and services. Successful businesses also come up with new ideas and execute them to enhance their performance and to improve the quality of their products or services. Studies have shown that creativity and innovation leads to long-term success of both individuals and organizations. Therefore, this essay focuses on the creativity and innovation by looking at the relationship between the two concepts and their importance, especially in entrepreneurship.

Before a person engages in critical thinking, it is important that he or she develops a mind map to represent an idea of concept. It is a graphical way of presenting an idea. Mind map is used as a critical thinking tool that helps in organizing and structuring information in order to come up with a new idea. The example below illustrates mind map for business plan.

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Alternative products

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Business Plan

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Internet marketing

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Sales and Marketing

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There is always confusion between creativity and innovation because, as people are not sure about the exact meanings of the terms. To many people, creativity and innovation are synonymous and there is no difference between the two terms. In most case, the two words are used interchangeably. However, despite close relations between creativity and innovation, the two terms are always different and one always leads to another (Morris, 2004). Therefore, the essay first determines the difference between creativity and innovation.

Creativity and innovation go hand and hand and there is always no innovation without creativity. Generally, creativity is the ability to come up with new and unique ideas while innovation is a process that involves the introduction of new ideas, products and services (Legrenzi, 2010). In short, innovation is the implementation of creativity (Legrenzi, 2010). Therefore, creativity is the driving force that generates innovations and viewing of things in a new perspective. Therefore, creativity is the conception of new and unique ideas and it is subjective, which makes it hard to be measured. Innovation, on the other hand, is measurable because it is the process of executing new ideas and making creativity viable. It is about converting new ideas into something that has value (Knudsen & Cokpekin, (2011). However, creativity cannot be developed in a vacuum, but it involves the ability to come up with new ideas by changing or reapplying the already existing ideas. It involves the attitude of an individual, the ability to accept change, and playing with numerous ideas until a person develops new concept.

Although innovation cannot exist without creativity, there can be creativity without innovation. It is possible for an individual to have an idea without implementing it, which shows that a person can be innovative without being innovation (Pisanu & Menapace, 2014). For the new idea to be innovative it must be executed. Therefore, creativity ends when an individual or group has started implementing the new idea. For instance, a business can come up with a new idea through creativity, but it can be considered to be creative when its starts implementing the idea to improve the quality of goods or services.

In addition, there is a close relationship between innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Creativity is about the establishment of novelty and value whereas entrepreneurship focuses on the novelty in new business ideas and the best way of implementing new ideas (Matthews, 2007). Therefore, both creativity and entrepreneurship follow the same trajectories when it com to focus and process. For an individual to be creative and engage in entrepreneurship, he or she must have skills and knowledge, but they do not solely depend on the existing ideas. Therefore, creativity and innovation have almost similar characteristics.

However, there are also differences between creativity and entrepreneurship. Creativity is all about input and process while entrepreneurship is about process and outcome (Matthews, (2007). In addition, creativity is majorly the creation of new ideas while entrepreneurs exploit the new ideas in order to maximize the profit. It is also believed that entrepreneurship is about risk taking while creative people offer raw materials in terms of new ideas (Matthews, (2007). Despite the difference, the two concepts closely relates with one another. Entrepreneurship and innovation are also closely related. Entrepreneurship focuses on risk taking and proactiveness while innovation is the way an entrepreneur looks for opportunities, as it helps in translating new ideas into a profitable conclusion.

Therefore, creativity and innovation is the driving force behind a successful entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur needs to be creative and innovative to translate the new ideas into profitable enterprise (Fillis & Rentschler, 2010). Creativity and innovations also help business people to develop goods and service that enable them to compete favorably in the market. In addition, entrepreneurs are able to solve various complex problems that emerge in a business environment when they are creative and innovative.

There are a number of factors influencing creativity and innovation at an individual or organization level. Challenge is always the driving force behind creativity, as people are more likely to be creative when they face complex task or goal that has to accomplished or achieved. Problems always emerge when an individual or a group is working on a complex task that always lead to intellectual debate (Čančer & Mulej, 2005). In order to solve problems, people always think in a different way, which always lead creativity. Therefore, people become innovative when they start implementing the new ways of solving a complex problem.

Competition is another factor driving creativity in the business environment. In order to have a competitive advantage in the market, a business must create quality goods and services that completely satisfy the needs and desires of customers. Companies also use creativity to differentiate their goods and services from competitors to attract more clients. Therefore, increased competition and the needs to have a competitive edge in the market are forcing businesses to be creative and innovative.

Apart from challenges and competition in the business, there are also a number of enablers of creativity and innovation in an organization. An organization culture that encourages open flow of communication, risk taking, employee independence, and risk for individuals is more likely to motivate creativity and innovation (Chang & Chiang, 2007). A positive organizational culture is important for the success of a business, as it promotes job satisfaction and physical and emotional needs of employees. As a result, workers are more likely to have morale of being creative.

Organizational climate also promote creativity and innovation in an organization. Organization climate refers to the pattern of behavior that is found in the day to day environment of a business or an organization (Chang & Chiang, 2007). Organizations that promote enabling environment for participation and freedom of expression encourage creativity and innovation among employees. In addition, creativity and innovation is found in firms that invest in research and development to come up with new ideas that help in enhancing the quality of goods or services. Employees are more likely to be creative and innovative when they are given the freedom to experiment.

Other determinants of creativity and innovation in an organization include organizational structure and system, leadership styles, and resources (Morris, 2004). Transformative leadership style encourages innovation and creativity because it allows the followers or employees to exercise their talents and skills. Resources are also important, especially when it comes to innovation because an individual may be creative but can fail to implement the idea to due to lack of resources (Morris, 2004). In addition, organizational structure and system that encourages evaluation and rewarding of employees promote creativity and innovation. Therefore, organizations can also create an enabling environment enhances creativity and innovation among workers.

Therefore, creativity is influenced by environmental factors that can be created by an organization. Creative people can be nurtured by creating conducive environment that enable then to think critically to solve emerging problems. Creativity can be learned because it is not a gift that must be inborn and every individual has the ability to be creative and innovative. Unfortunately, many people believe that they do not have the ability to be creative (Müller, Rammer & Trüby, 2009). A person can easily become creative when he or she starts to look at things in a different perspective through critical thinking. For instance, Albert Einstein, one of the creative geniuses, was considered to be a slow learner in grade school was able to come up with ‘the general theory of relativity’ that made him receive a Nobel Prize in Physics. However, to some extent, the level of creativity depends on the level of intelligence of an individual, which is inborn.

In addition, there is a controversial debate whether creativity and innovation depend on the level of education of an individual. Many scholars argue that the level of education influence creativity because creative people require knowledge and skills (Craft, 2001). They further argue that an individual cannot be creative in fields where he or she is not an expert. However, there are some people who argue that education is the major inhibitor of creativity and innovation, as they believe that educative people are less creative. But the analogy that education hinders creativity has not been scientifically proved. Psychologist and scholars agree that individual experience significantly enhances creativity and innovation; especially the multicultural experience (Leung et al., 2008). Experience is able to promote creativity due to enhance cognitive flexibility. Therefore, education, experience, and intelligence are able to enhance creativity and innovation, but they are not necessary requirements.

Even though some people disagree that thinking tools promote creativity, many studies on creativity and innovations have found that the tools play important role in generating new ideas. Thinking tools can enhance creativity because they make people to have different view of issues and problems that are emerging. For instance, provocation is a type of mind tool that is used to change the linear thinking pattern in order to come up with new and better solutions (Čančer & Mulej, 2005). Therefore, the brain can be used better through the use of thinking tools that enhance creativity.

For business to succeed in its operations and to gain a competitive advantage in the market, should employ a significant number of creative people (Fillis & Rentschler, 2010). First, creative people are able to create new opportunities because they are able to think differently. The majority of creative people are committed in what they are doing and they are productive in exploring different opportunities that are found in the market. The major challenge facing many businesses is the ability to find opportunities. However, the challenge can be solved by employing creative people.

In addition, businesses should employ creative people because they have broader outlook and approach in approaching issues (Fillis & Rentschler, 2010). Contrary to analytical employees who have defined way of doing things, creative people have a broad approach and they arrive at comprehensive solutions. The broad and different approach also leads to new solutions, which enable a business to deal with various emerging challenges. Besides, creative people are enthusiastic to take up new challenges, which are inevitable in the modern business environment. Therefore, creative people are important to a business because they create new opportunities and they can tackle emerging issues and problems.

Like all creative people, creative geniuses should also be employed in an organization because they help a business to grow and favourably compete in the market (Fillis & Rentschler, 2010). There are so many uncertainties in the current economy that can only be reduced by the creative geniuses. They are creative and innovative, which helps in solving various problems facing an organization. Creative geniuses, therefore, are able to create new opportunities by developing new goods or services that satisfy the needs of customers. As a result, they should be employed in hired in an organization to boost its performance and productivity.

However, organizations should be cautious when hiring and working with creative geniuses. One of the undoing of many creative geniuses is that they are overconfidence, which can result to poor decision making (Fillis & Rentschler, 2010). They are more likely to suffer from cognitive biasness than the average people due to overconfidence. But the company can solve the problem of overconfidence by hiring a range of abilities. In addition, an organization may find it hard to manage creative geniuses because they always refuse to do menial work. Creative geniuses want to play complex role and they consider any other job menial that does not lead to job satisfaction. Further, they find it hard to work with average people, as they are always impatient with people who they perceive to be less capable. The poor relationship between creative geniuses and average workers can hinder employee performance. Therefore, an organization should balance creative geniuses and average employees in its hiring.

There are a number of creative geniuses who were able to come up with new ideas and implement them. Alexander Graham was considered to be one of the prolific innovators because he is associated with the invention of telephone, metal detector, and photophone. Graham was passionate and determined to see that his deaf mother could hear which forced him to be creative and innovative. Therefore, problem prompted him to search for the solution. Sir Isaac Newton was another creative genius because he was able to develop the law of gravity and he also discovered that colour is inherent in white light. Curiosity made Newton to come up with new ideas that were implemented. Other creative geniuses that existed in the past included Thomas Edison who invented typewriter and Charles Dawin who came up with the theory of evolution.

Apart from the past creative geniuses, there are also the living creative people who have been able to change the world and the organizations they are working with. Paul Allen is considered one of the greatest innovators in the world today, as he is the co-founder of Microsoft, which has helped in redefining the world of personal computing. Magnus Carlsen who was born in 1990 is also believed to be a creative genius, as he is considered the world’s best chest master. Others include Elias James Corey, a greatest chemist, and Federico Faggin who was able to invent microprocessor. Therefore, creative geniuses are found in all fields, including arts, medicine, social sciences, and technical sciences like engineering.

In conclusion, there is close link between creativity and innovation. There can never be innovation without creativity, but an individual can be creative without being innovative because innovation can only be achieved when the new ideas are implemented. Creativity ends with the beginning of implementation of new ideas. There is also a close link between creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship because they all focus on the creation of new ideas and executing them to generate value of profit. Challenges and increase competition are the main factors making people to be creative and innovative as they strive to find solutions to the problems. Other organizational factors like organizational culture, organizational climate, and leadership styles also influence creativity and innovation. Therefore, organization needs creative and innovative people to succeed in their endeavours.


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