Essay about Creativity and Innovation

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The objective of this report is to have a deeper understanding of creativity and innovation. By delving deep into both concepts, it is apparent that both are correlated and one cannot sustain without the other. It was identified that creativity and innovation require vivid ideas and the ability to see things from a different perspective. In this analysis, the discussion is done on the features of creative thinking and how to achieve it. It was found that one of the traits of creative individuals is to be able to use both the concepts in best possible way. To be proficient in this skill one needs to increase the learning and thinking capacity by doing brain strengthening exercises. Apart from this, entrepreneurs can use their creative thoughts by grabbing the opportunity. They keep searching for opportunities to create a mark in the industry and set on the path to success.

The report concludes that creativity and innovative thinking are vital for the success of any organization so that they can stand different from their competitors and earn greater profits. By using graphical representation like mind maps shown in appendix 1, the writer has demonstrated the importance of tools like these and how they can be used for innovative approaches and better explanations.

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Innovation and creativity are essential skills needed for the success of any business organization. Exploring new horizons of knowledge and finding solutions for problems by using new and innovative methods leads to increased profits and new achievements in an organizational setup.

This report will argue that in order to gain success in any business, creativity and innovation must work together. Moreover, this paper will also explore situations where both can be used independently. This research identifies schools fail in nurturing creativity and innovation in children.

This analysis begins with the definition of creativity and innovation and further explores a vast array of ways to enhance these essential traits. To conclude, a few examples of organizations are given were founders or owners applied their creative thoughts and made money out of them.

Meaning of Creativity

Widely, creativity is defined as the mental ability to imagine. Creativity is a process whereby something new and different is formed. It refers to some idea that transforms the present situation or object and results in an improved situation or in something valuable. It has different meanings like looking at the world in a different way or finding missing elements or searching for solutions to some problems in a unique way or connecting some unimaginable things which yield socially productive results. To be precise, it basically means thinking out of the box.

In a business context, creativity can be defined as a phenomenon by which original, unimaginable ideas are processed which results in increased profits or gains. Additionally, it may also include prophesizing the danger or difficulties, searching for solutions, finding gaps in business ideas or projects, further filling those loopholes, etc. Thus, in the business world creativity can be found in almost everything- product making, pricing, marketing, labeling, customer service, employee management, etc., outcomes of which are decreased production expenses and time, increased sales, upsurge in profits, increased customer satisfaction, etc.

Meaning of innovation

The word innovation is derived from the Latin word- ‘Innovare’ which means to create something new (Tidd & Bessant, 2009, p. 16). Innovation, on the other hand, is the implementation of unique ideas or imagination or information or technology for making good or for services that drive customers in and gives them the value they seek. Innovation includes but is not limited to the use of resources in a more efficient manner to quench the customers’ expectations and market needs. According to Paul Trott, innovation refers to managing the actions which are involved in the creation of idea, advancement in technology, production, and promotion of a new product or service (Trott, 2016). An innovative process starts with a need or opportunity or a new problem that requires a solution in a different way. In a business setting, the sole purpose of using innovative techniques is to make profits and deliver value to the customers.

Relation between innovation and creativity

Many times, people use creativity and innovation synonymously, but there is an apparent and significant difference between both. Creativity is conceptualizing new and original ideas whereas, innovation refers to the application of those creative and new ideas or thoughts. Although both are different concepts, they are inextricably linked to each other. It is widely believed that creativity develops innovative activities and innovation is giving practical shape to those inventive thoughts. It was the creative idea of Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph (founder of Netflix) to create a platform where people can watch movies, and series in any language without being interrupted by advertisements but it was due to the innovative approach of the engineers and IT heads that gave a practical shape to that creative idea. Thus, without innovation, creative ideas or thoughts would remain ideas only. Similarly, innovation cannot exist without an idea to be executed. Furthermore, in a business setting, it is necessary for efficient innovation that the creative idea is profit generating and practical from commercial perspectives. Likewise, if an idea is not executed efficiently then it would not yield better results and go waste. Creativity and innovation address ways of doing things better and differently, but positive results can be seen only if both these concepts are used together and efficiently.

Theoretical study

Thinking styles

J.P. Guilford was an American psychologist who first proposed that divergence is intricated in the concept of the creative thinking process. He proposed the concept of divergent thinking and how it is different from convergent thinking. In divergent thinking, the individual makes use of flexibility, and unique ideas so that he/she can discover a wide number of possible solutions to the problem and choose the best key to that lock. Cropley says that divergent thinking is a process whereby people tend to think of a number of ideas in an open-ended manner and in an unexpected way which varies from person to person or team to team (Cropley, 1967).

On the contrary, as the word suggests, in convergent thinking individual tends to focus on a single problem and one solution to it. This school of thought emphasizes speed, precision, and reason for finding the solution. For mastering the art of developing creative and innovative skills, individuals need to keep switching between both styles and create a balance as demanded by the situation.

Stages of creative thinking

Graham Wallas was a social psychologist, educationalist, a leader of the Fabian society a co-founder of the London School of Economics. His model of creativity encompasses five stages of creative thinking:

  • Preparation: This stage includes focusing on the problem, understanding it, and measuring the dimension and severity of the issue.
  • Incubation: At this stage, people start to ponder over the problem in their subconscious minds.
  • Intimation: There is a hunching towards the idea that the solution to the problem is on its way.
  • Illumination: At this stage, there is a realization that a solution to the problem is found.
  • Verification: This is the final stage of the process where people begin to delve deep into the pragmatism, suitability, and effectiveness of the idea.

This theory by Wallas provides a structured approach to the concept of the creative thinking process. This theory helps in analyzing the process of creative thinking and identifying where the problem lies if the idea is not productive enough for the purpose.

Six thinking hats

Edward De Bono is a physician, psychologist, and philosopher who first used the term, lateral thinking. It was in 1985 that Edward proposed the six-hat technique model for analyzing people’s approaches to a situation. This model is helpful in a way that it provides a structured method for a team to think upon an idea in a detailed and organized way. The basic principle underlying this theory is that the human mind thinks in a number of ways simultaneously. The given hats represent these different thinking styles.

  • WHITE (information): It includes collecting the information and processing it to find facts, details, and information gaps. Thus, the process is information and data collection and finding facts so that appropriate solutions can be given.
  • RED (emotions): This part includes the guts, hunches, intuitions, and feelings. These cannot be justified by facts or explanation but it is the unavoidable inner voice that plays important role in people’s perspective towards a problem and its proposed solution.
  • BLACK (judgment): his hat represents stern judgment and thinking about the possible negative outcomes or problems that can arise. It includes caution and critical thinking about what could go wrong. It is a negative view but logical and rational which in the future may help in solving the problem.
  • YELLOW (optimism): On the contrary, the yellow hat is representative of positive views and optimistic thinking. It means looking at the brighter side and hoping for a positive outcome.
  • GREEN (creativity): Green hat represents new ideas and changes in surroundings through creative thinking. Here possibilities are analyzed from different points of view, alternatives are searched and ideas under process are modified and improved. It means thinking out of the box.
  • BLUE (management): It means looking at the bigger picture. It encompasses thinking about the topic, what needs to be done, when it should be done, when it is possible to complete the task etc. so it means laying the plan and managing and organizing the information. This hat is worn by the leader or manager of the project.

Creative thinking styles

To be creative-minded, a person must have some skills and habits in their nature which helps in generating new thoughts and ideas.

  • Analytical skills: It is ostensible that to find a suitable solution, one needs to carefully examine things clearly. This entails the ability to understand the situation, data, problem, or lesson and analyze it to find minute details.
  • Open-minded nature: For being creative, it is necessary that thoughts are not bound by any restrictions. One needs to have an unbiased approach toward things. This widens the area of thinking and results in the flow of more ideas.
  • Organization skills: Although creative people are widely known for being unorganized and mismanaged, it is necessary on their part to be organized so that they can present their ideas in a structured and systematic manner.
  • Problem-solving ability: Creative ideas should be commercially useful and practical. For this purpose, individuals should have problem-solving skills. Issues can arise in any organization for which employees should be capable to think creatively to solve the problem and serve as an asset to the company.
  • Communication skills: Once the idea is generated, it is very important that they are conveyed in a proper manner to the people who are responsible for executing the idea and giving it a practical shape. Thus, for innovation to take place efficiently, it is requisite on the part of the person proposing the idea, to have a hold on the written and oral skills of the language.

Developing creativity

In today’s competitive world, creativity and innovation play a significant role in every individual’s life. Earlier, creativity was associated with divine power and something that cannot be achieved. Its definition and attainment were unfathomable and mysterious. Being creative is difficult but not impossible. Everyone can be creative by following a few steps or activities in their daily life. A few of them are discussed below:

  • One can learn a lot by making something new every day. People should devote time to writing some articles, drawing mind maps while learning something, cooking some stories in their mind while going to bed, trying to experiment with new recipes for food or mixing some dishes to create new, etc.
  • Choosing friends and peers wisely can help a lot in developing a circle where one can express and learn a lot. Through healthy discussions comes knowledge about the experiences of others and great ideas for a great future.
  • There are some brain-strengthening games that help in nurturing the mind to boost creativity. Playing games that work as an exercise for the brain can prove fruitful in the same regard.
  • Take breaks from work, and study to relax your mind. It works like fuel for the tired and exhausted mind and helps it to relax. Creativity does not come from tired minds which are incapable of thinking something new and original.
  • Additionally, taking risks can help in creating a creative mind. By indulging in risks, one experiences new problems which instigate the mind to find solutions. This process helps in keeping the mind active.
  • On top of it, breathing techniques and exercises which increase blood flow towards the brain also aid in keeping the brain active and generating new ideas.


Encouraging creativity and innovation in an organization

No business or organization can climb the success ladder without employees with unique thoughts and imaginative minds. Creativity helps the organization to distinguish itself from its competitors, grab customers’ attention, deliver customer value, generate profits, and thus become successful in the market. The following steps may prove fruitful in developing creativity in the organization:

  • Creating a team environment where employees can work in collaboration with each other can help them in getting acquainted with the work of other departments. This will not only increase the knowledge of employees but also allow ideas and inspiration to flow from different directions. Thus, a fun and humorous environment are necessary for team building and creativity.
  • Providing flexibility in the workplace can help in keeping the employees relaxed and stress-free. This process includes adding little flexibility in working hours or sometimes tolerating late comers. As a result of it, work-life balance for the employees is created which keeps people anxiety-free and thus, helps in the inflow of creative ideas.
  • The color and structure of the building can also help in triggering creativity and an innovative approach. By exploring interesting and creative office designs, employees may find new ideas in their business projects.
  • Organizations should support their employees in taking risks and should tolerate mistakes. Although by risk-taking techniques, the team will indulge in problems, this will help them find solutions to these problems.
  • Encourage creative activities like article writing, poetry, painting, etc. which helps in generating new ideas and creative thoughts by keeping the mind busy and energetic. Additionally, through these ideas, there might come ideas for marketing, mind mapping, graphics, etc. which can prove helpful in the growth of the business.
  • Apart from these, employees can be motivated by rewarding the employees who bring creative ideas. This reward can be in form of bonuses, awards, paid leaves and so on which would encourage the employees to be more creative.
  • Most important, recognizing new ideas, solutions, and suggestions is necessary. If someone comes with something original or unique then managers or superiors should pay attention to those suggestions. It will encourage employees to speak up about what is there in their minds. Some of these ideas may prove to be productive and viable from a business perspective.
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