Why Creativity Plays a Critical Role in Innovation

Creativity and innovation are intertwined. The most creative organisations have also made significant strides in innovations. The past three decades have witnessed the emergence of varied roles within companies across multiple industries. These roles help to uncover innovation. Thus, they are designed to influence a unique culture that drives positively disruptive ideas that could make the entire organisation outpace the competition.

Should you be chasing innovations?

If you’re chasing the term ‘innovation,’ you are channelling your effort to the wrong place. Most people still see innovation as ‘what you do.’ And this isn’t the right thing either. Innovation, whether in business or other industries, is the impact or end-goal. It is the transformation that takes effect due to your ideas, concepts, and actions. Think of innovation as an idea that could produce the value your target audience seeks, increase revenue, and successfully achieves your original goals.

But if innovation is all about the impact or end goal, what should you do to get there? It is easy for everyone to chase the end-impact or goal that they lose focus on the essential bits that drive their actions to achieve their intended goal. They overlook simple but crucial elements like problem exploration, creative thinking, exceptional design, and idea management.

Creativity in innovation needs to be a habit

Creativity underpins nearly everything you do to think differently. Many experts have defined creativity, and all those definitions point to one thing. Creativity in innovation is simply the generation of ideas that are both novel (original) and useful (something that can bring about a positive change).

Just like beauty, innovation is also in the eyes of the beholder. That means you no longer need to keep up with Google, Apple, and other tech giants to be innovative. As long as your ideas are new to your target audience and relevant to your business or industry, that’s a great innovation!

You are probably wondering, “I am not the creative type. Can I ever be innovative?”

Yes, you are. It’s just that you don’t know it. Humans love to stick to their patterns in nearly everything. They have routines, procedures, and processes, that they must adhere to. They like to act ‘as expected,’ as these patterns exist entrenched in their DNA, stretching back to the ‘caveman’ era.

The reality is that these patterns have kept humans safe most of the time from wandering off and probably getting lost. They help them stay in a group to survive natural disasters. If you’ve ever travelled in a group and suddenly found yourself separated from the pack, you know that awful feeling of fear and anxiety that washes over you. When you finally found your group, the sense of relief kicked in, and you felt safe and warm again.

The same applies to your thinking patterns and habits.

Innovate through Microsoft Teams

Encourage your employees to share ideas through the digital tools they use every day. 

Break through creativity barriers

There is a point in the life of every company when change is imperative. Not minor adjustments or change for the sake of change, but for the survival of the entire organisation. Changes in the mission requirements, political environment, personal considerations, technological advancements, and other important factors can necessitate change. Unless you start seeing change as being inevitable and start embracing that fact, your company is likely heading for failure.

Therefore, you must identify and eliminate barriers to creativity. This will eliminate hindrances to potential inventiveness and enable “group genius,” and awaken the “collaborative spirit” of your company. Basically, breaking the barriers to creativity and innovation involves changing what you believe in and how you behave.

Some of the common barriers to creativity and innovation include fear, the pressure to offer immediate results, personal biases, poor leadership, lack of commitment to innovation, bureaucratic policies, and more. These issues could be blocking your creativity as a leader and also affecting everyone within your organisation. 

To foster creativity in your organisation, you must take the right measures to create a company culture that upholds creativity to drive innovations. For example, you must passionately promote a work environment where ideas are valued, considered, and, if possible, implemented. It’s also important to make creativity an integral part of your business model and day-to-day activities.

The point is you shouldn’t get too serious with specific innovation roles within your organisation. Instead, you should pay attention to creativity, idea generation and management, and other aspects that can foster innovation in your company. These are the ingredients that can help you break new grounds and open up exciting opportunities you crave.

Written by Jakob Lindvall

Combining his love for AI technology, passion for idea management, and 15+ years of experience as CEO of various companies, Jakob oversees the business planning, and strategic direction for the company.

02/12/2020

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