Innovation versus creativity

What is innovation? How is it different from creativity? It is very easy for people to talk about being innovative and creative yet they don’t have an idea of what these two things mean. I like to refer to the story of creation in the book of Genesis in the Bible. In the context of the Bible, once there was nothing and God created something for the first time. To create or to be creative is to come up with something new that never existed.

A mobile phone already exists, you can’t talk about creating a phone. What you might do is to innovate a mobile phone. You can make the existing one better with outstanding performance. You can add more applications onto it, change its design and looks. You are now being innovative.

How do you stimulate innovativeness? Innovativeness is slightly cheaper compared to creativity. You need to have a lot of money to be creative. This is why you see United States of America spends a lot of resources in Research and Development (R&D). In our case, we don’t have such capacity. We need to focus on innovation.

As a new employee in any organization or an entrepreneur, how do you become a very good innovator? Just introduce innovation minute in your meetings. Ask everybody to come up with an idea that addresses the current pains of the organization.

Remember, innovation not only comes from top management, actually best ideas are generated from the frontline – guys interfacing with the customers. Encourage them to be part of the solution to your business. You never know where the next mobile money will come from.

Keep innovating.

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