Saturday, July 23, 2011

Creativity or Innovation?

Over the years, I have worked with people and companies to develop creativity, and I have worked with people and companies to develop innovation. Often the two are seen as the same thing, but I would call them more like cousins than identical twins.

Look up innovation in the dictionary and you will get a definition similar to this one: adj - advanced, forward-looking, innovative, modern -- (ahead of the times; "the advanced teaching methods"; "had advanced views on the subject"; "a forward-looking corporation"; "is British industry innovative enough?")  Innovation is almost always about work, the market, productivity, processes, and is generally builds on what already exists. Innovation itself cannot be taught, but a person or company can be taught things that will breed and encourage innovation.

Creativity? The definition is a little different. You are likely to get a definition more like this: having the power to bring into being; having the ability or power to create; Note the difference - here it seems to come out of nowhere. Very Godlike. Something out of nothing. Something completely new. Can creativity be taught? Not in itself. But again we can do things that make creativity more likely to grow.

In coaching or teaching creativity and innovation, the methods are someone different. But in helping a person or company become more creative or innovative, there is one big commonality - generally we have to remove our own roadblocks. This means finding what they are, being honest, then changing them.

Sound easy? It's not. We just don't see ourselves as well as we could. Which is why more and more people choose to find coaches (for their individual lives) or consultants (for their companies and organizations), to help them see more clearly. It's why people go to counselors. It's why we go to friends. It's why books on the subjects sell millions of copies each year.

Which do you want more of in your life? Creativity? Or Innovation? How do you intend to get there? I'd love to hear your answer.

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