What is the difference between creativity and innovation? When you look up both words in dictionaries it is clear that these two words get mixed up and sometimes even are used synonymously. So here are my working definitions which I hope you find to be helpful and realistic.
Creativity is coming up with ideas that are different from anything you already know about. Innovation is when the ideas are also something new to the world AND has a value that someone would covet and pay for.
First the ideas have to be developed. Then there is a search to see if someone else already thought of it. And finally there will be market research to determine whether anyone finds value and will buy it. Sometimes the last stage is done by bringing the idea to market and testing sales directly because the inventor/developer is sure it will be a hit. Sometimes the idea is brought directly to market because the developer feels that is the best test and doesn’t allow competitors a chance to steal the idea.
So let’s back up for a moment and explore how those creative ideas can emerge more consistently and profusely since that is the first step to innovation. Though sudden inspiration can happen, idea generation is more predictable if you have methods to brainstorm and document lots of ideas all the time giving you a much better chance that some of them will reach the innovation stage.
Here are a few ways to hold on to those ideas you get.
Most of us think we won’t forget when we come up with a good idea. After all if it seems like a great one how could you forget? Unfortunately, if you don’t write it down you may easily forget. Keep some way to make notes with you all the time. A little pad of paper or notebook, a folded single piece of paper, a napkin, or your phone if you can type in a note or record a short message to yourself. You can even call your own number and leave the message in your voicemail.
Leonardo da Vinci always carried around a little notebook and made notes and drawings about his ideas and thoughts.
It is common to wake up at night with one of those light bulb ideas. If you have been dealing with an ongoing problem that you are trying to solve, your brain will keep working on it in your dreams. Keep a notebook or pad of paper, pen, and small reading light or flashlight. No matter how sleepy you feel and how sure you are at that moment that you will remember in the morning, write it down — at least write enough keywords or phrases to remind you what it was all about.
Creativity is the way you fill the funnel with many ideas so that some of them will turn out to be true innovations.
About The Author:
Hazel Wagner, PhD, MBA, CMC
Author, Speaker, Consultant, Entrepreneur
Certified/Qualified in DISC, HBDI, Mindex, MBTI Myers-Briggs
Author: Power Brainstorming: Great Ideas at Lightning Speed