Creativity vs Innovation

Creativity is not innovation and Innovation is not creativity. Yet we equate innovation with creativity and vice-versa in our casual conversations.

As a designer, I have a unique privilege to listen to variety of accusations around originality, creativity and innovation. I get to hear from every Tom, Dicky and Harry about how Steve Jobs did not create the iPhone from scratch, how Microsoft stole ideas for Windows, how Dyson's vacuuming is not original and more.

Here are some thoughts around creativity and innovation based on my experience as a creative professional 👇

  • Creativity is about coming up with the big idea. Innovation is about converting the big idea into a viable business.
  • Creative ideas typically spring from the minds of one person or a very small group of people. Innovation typically needs an army to realise the big idea.
  • Creativity lies in the intersection of novelty and utility. Innovation lies in the intersection of ideas and execution.
  • Creativity is the front end of the innovation process and execution is the back end of the innovation process. Both ideators and executors are necessary to make innovation successful.
  • Innovation suffers when the "creative types" handle it in organisations. Operations is a big part of innovation success.
  • Creativity is subjective and hence makes it extremely hard to measure whereas Innovation is totally measurable.
  • Creativity is the price of admission.Innovation is what pays the bills.

Creative ideas can come from anyone (need not from the team within) . Putting the ideas to work as a business is what organisations must foster.

The popularity of Design Thinking comes from its ability to spot unmet and unarticulated customer needs and use the creative resources to design an appropriate solution and reap a return on its investment.

From what I see, organisations should foster more of an innovative culture as we don't lack creation of ideas, what we lack is action to make the creation possible. Innovation helps in creating value for companies and its customers.

🥂 to value!

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