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Definitions Of Creativity And Innovation

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Discuss about the definitions of Creativity and Innovation are studied. 



Creativity and innovation are two inter-related concepts which have been defined in different ways. Though there is basic difference between the concepts of creativity and innovation but creativity is the starting point of innovation. Creativity is often the product of individualistic mind while innovation is not only about collective human interaction but also about interaction between human minds and its artificial environment. Creativity and innovation is of paramount importance for sustainable development of an organization. The world is constantly changing with technological advancement and tough competition posed by globalization. In order to adapt itself to this constantly changing environment, every organization should foster a culture and an environment of entrepreneurship where employees are encouraged to think out of the box, new ideas are appreciated and there is open communication among departments which leads to intra-departmental co-ordination and functioning of the business as a single unit (Serrat, 2017). Organizations and countries should invest on research and development, else new technology of competitors can pose potential threat to business (Dawson & Andriopoulos, 2014). For example, Nokia failed to sense the new technology of the android market and hence business of Nokia was potentially harmed. Similarly, the digital film and photography hampered the traditional business of Kodak .The invention of Aero plane by Wright brothers and the invention of credit cards are examples of creativity and innovation of past. The human race is constantly progressing through creativity and innovation which is depicted by modern examples like research in the field of artificial intelligence and robotics or manufacture of electric cars by Tesla.


Creativity and innovation defined in several ways

Creativity is the ability to present new ideas and innovation is the way the new ideas are implemented practically. Creativity emerges when an individual discards preconceived notion and looks at a matter in a way that might seem odd to others.

Creativity is encouraged when a leader does not direct his subordinates but creates a supportive environment that nurtures out-of-the box thinking .This kind of environment is vital for creative people to give birth to fresh ideas and solve a problem (Auernhammer & Hall, 2014).

Innovation follows creativity or creativity leads to innovation (Sarooghi, Libaers & Burkemper, 2015).  The leaders who are innovative encourage a culture of questioning, openness to experience, risk-taking and a healthy attitude towards failure among his subordinates (?erne, Jakli? & Škerlavaj, 2013).

People who are creative generally possess the following three qualities that make them different from others.

1) Expertise-technical knowledge and skills

2) Creative thinking skills-Thinking out of the box and ability to solve problems

3) Intrinsic motivation

There are two types of methods established by psychologists to enhance creative thinking .These two methods are free association method and brainstorming


Free association method

This method to enhance creativity was studied by psychologist Freud and Carl Gustam Jung .This technique is often used in marketing and advertising  and consists of asking questions to oneself or to others of the type “This here ..what does it bring to mind? And what else? ..and?”  This should be continued until our mind is blank or the question is exhausted.


Brainstorming is the allowance of free flow of ideas even though the ideas seem ridiculous or bizarre. The practical feasibility of ideas is not checked while brainstorming .Every idea is considered to be a good idea. Therefore, brainstorming allows free flow of ideas without criticism (Wilson, 2013). 

In 1864,Carlo Cattaneo, an Enlightenment thinker explained that when multiple human beings solve a problem together by comparing and discussing, the result is always better than the same problem being tackled by a single individual. Therefore, organizations support group-thinking or constructive conflicts among groups as this lead to creativity .However, a scientific or artistic creativity is often the product of an individual mind. For instance, writing a book, composing music, gaining scientific insight on something requires individual effort (Henry & Mayle, 2016).

In this context, the basic difference between innovation and creativity can be noted. Creativity in scientific or artistic discovery is individualistic but innovation by definition is a social phenomenon. Innovation is not only the result of collective human interaction but the association between human minds and artificial system like technological instruments often lead to innovation.

The process of innovation has following steps: idea generation, idea screening, feasibility and implementation. Sources of new ideas for an organization can be economy, technology, customers, competitors, management, suppliers, and distribution channel and government regulations.

Creativity and Innovation in Organizational context

Creativity and innovation has several examples in history .One such example is of Wilbur Wright and Orville Wright, who were interested in flying in the 19th century. For doing so the Wright brothers built and tested several gliders, flaps on wings and rudders.  After several tests and efforts the Wright Brother was successful in flying a plane with a man on it.  The name of their fist powered Aeroplane was Flyer and in 1909, the Wright Brothers received a contract from the United States military to build fist plane from them. This example depicts how creativity and invention made the dream of flying come true for the human race (McCullough, 2016). 

Creativity and Innovation in light of today’s organization

The fashion giant Zara is one of the most innovative retail stores of the World. In 1975, the first store of Zara was opened by Amancio Ortega in Spain. The group is a part of Inditex which is world’s largest clothing and fashion company with its presence in eighty two countries. The turnover of the group in 2011 was $18 billion and Zara employs more than 100,000 people across the globe. The success of Zara is based on innovation in supply chain management which helps Zara to bring new fashion to the market at a faster rate. The innovative and creative business model of Zara is explained


The design team of Zara produces more than 18,000 new designs of products every year. The design team gets their idea of design from books, magazines, fashion shows but most importantly from customer feedback. Zara never adapts its clothing to the local market but it implements the universal design of clothes in all the stores across the globe which helps Zara to achieve economy of scale. It takes less than four weeks for Zara to put their clothes on the shelves starting from the initial process of product design. This innovative concept makes Zara unique and different from the competitors. Zara is not only innovative in its product design but the company is creative and innovative in all of its business processes like inventory and supply chain management, store layouts and manpower management. At the headquarters of Zara in Spain there are 25 full-size shop windows which are equipped with different displays and lighting. This innovative visual merchandising concept helps Zara enables designers to figure out how the windows of various retail stores of Zara look like in different conditions like day and night, sunshine and rain. In Zara stores, staff use wireless technology to communicate the customers feedback to the team of suppliers so that the clothes which are on demand are supplied more but Zara uses the concept of creative destruction by bringing new fashion items inside the store after every four weeks(Qrunfleh & Tarafdar, 2014). Even the top selling fashion items in Zara stores are replaced by new collection every four weeks .This innovative and creative concept increases the footfall of customers in all the stores of Zara across the globe because customers are interested to check the new fashion trends implemented by Zara in all the stores every four weeks. The company adopts a flat organizational structure with less hierarchical levels which makes the company more innovative with respect to its competitors (Somech & Drach-Zahavy, 2013).


Space X is an American aerospace company founded by Elon Musk in 2002 .It was the first private company to send spacecraft in the International Space Station (Seedhouse, 2013).  Elon Musk also used his personal creativity and innovation to manufacture electric cars. He is the founder of Tesla Motors (Hardman, Shiu & Steinberger-Wilckens, 2015).

ISRO also known as the Indian Space Research organization is headquartered in Bangalore, India and the organization was successful in sending the Mars orbiter which entered the orbit of Mars in September 2014. With the help of innovation and creativity ISRO was able to accomplish its Mars Orbiter Mission making the organization the first in Asia and the fourth space agency in the world to enter Mars (Math, Moirangthem & Kumar, 2015).

ALDI is considered to be one of the top 10 Australian retailers. From the opening of its debut store in Australia in 2001, the expansion of Aldi has grown strong with the presence of more than 470 stores throughout. The corporate objective of Aldi in Australia is to deliver customers quality products at low prices, maximize sourcing only from Australian suppliers and create employment (Carpenter et al., 2013).

ALDI has been trying new marketing strategy for gaining higher market share in Australia by opening trial stores of a new- style in Australia. These stores will use LED lights to reduce energy consumption, will have improved product displays and will have new layouts which will improve navigation and will shorten average check-out waiting times of customers. Thus Aldi uses innovation and creativity in its business process in Australia.



In the above examples, the concept of creativity and innovation was studied in organizational setting. An individual can also be creative and innovative and give birth to new ideas and implement these ideas into reality by being an entrepreneur and founding a start-up company (Drucker, 2014).  I  would like to open a beauty clinic and slimming center business  if I had the funds.This clinic will cater to the beauty and slimming needs of clients. There will be a slimming center which will use machines to enhance the metabolism of overweight clients .Therapist will provide hand massage by hand-held machines which will target stubborn cellulite of client’s body. .The clinic will have an open-air gym, hair and skin clinic which would use advanced machines like laser treatment for hair removal, chemical peels and Botox treatment for the skin. The skin clinic will provide one-stop solution to clients of Australia who are fashion and fitness conscious and will like to enhance their looks. The slimming center and clinic will   first be inaugurated in cities of Australia like Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and then will expand on franchisee model. The clinic will provide customized beauty and slimming solutions to clients by making use of the modern innovative technology in the arena of slimming and beauty

Mind-mapping and creativity

Mind mapping is a graphical technique used to unlock the full potential of the brain. Mind map always starts from the center and spreads in different directions and this colorful graphical technique helps to solve problems more effective and enhances the creative potential of human brain. Mind map therefore has the shape of a tree that revolves around a central topic; branches of the tree can be considered as subtopics (Noonan, 2013).


Figure 1 Mind Map

(Created by Author)


It can be concluded from the above report that creativity and innovation is a concept that has a wide range of definitions. Creativity is the ability to generate new ideas and to solve a complex problem. Innovation is the implementation of new ideas and entrepreneur is someone who commercializes new ideas. Therefore, creative people with entrepreneurship skills are the need of the hour. The human race has evolved by using their creative thinking and innovative skills in various fields of art and science. Creativity and innovation has its application in several fields like advertising, marketing and business, science and technology, art and culture. Entrepreneurs are social reformers and famous entrepreneurs like Elon Musk of Space X and Tesla, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Richard Branson of Virgin group and Amancio Ortega of Zara is well-known for their brilliant contribution to the human race. Creativity can be nurtured by every individual in his personal life. It is possible for an ordinary individual to be creative and innovative in his own small way by giving birth to small start-up companies in his home country or just by pursuing intrapreneurship within the office premises. Organizations can adopt a culture of creativity by adopting a flatter structure and building a culture of open communication.


Reference Lists:

Auernhammer, J., & Hall, H. (2014). Organizational culture in knowledge creation, creativity   and  innovation: Towards the Freiraum model. Journal of Information Science, 40(2), 154-166.

Carpenter, J. M., Moore, M., Alexander, N., & Doherty, A. M. (2013). Consumer demographics, ethnocentrism, cultural values, and acculturation to the global consumer culture: A retail perspective. Journal of Marketing Management, 29(3-4), 271-291.

?erne, M., Jakli?, M., & Škerlavaj, M. (2013). Authentic leadership, creativity, and innovation: A multilevel perspective. Leadership, 9(1), 63-85.

Dawson, P., & Andriopoulos, C. (2014). Managing change, creativity and innovation. Sage.

Drucker, P. (2014). Innovation and entrepreneurship. Routledge.

Hardman, S., Shiu, E., & Steinberger-Wilckens, R. (2015). Changing the fate of Fuel Cell Vehicles: Can lessons be learnt from Tesla Motors?. international journal of hydrogen energy, 40(4), 1625-1638.

Henry, J., & Mayle, D. (2016). Creativity and Innovation.

Math, S. B., Moirangthem, S., & Kumar, N. C. (2015). Tele-psychiatry: After mars, can we reach the unreached?. Indian journal of psychological medicine, 37(2), 120.

McCullough, D. (2016). The Wright Brothers. Simon and Schuster.

Noonan, M. (2013). Mind maps: Enhancing midwifery education. Nurse education today, 33(8), 847-852.

Qrunfleh, S., & Tarafdar, M. (2014). Supply chain information systems strategy: Impacts on supply chain performance and firm performance. International Journal of Production Economics, 147, 340-350.

Sarooghi, H., Libaers, D., & Burkemper, A. (2015). Examining the relationship between creativity and innovation: A meta-analysis of organizational, cultural, and environmental factors. Journal of business venturing, 30(5), 714-731.

Seedhouse, E. (2013). SpaceX: making commercial spaceflight a reality. Springer Science & Business Media.

Serrat, O. (2017). Harnessing creativity and innovation in the workplace. In Knowledge Solutions (pp. 903-910). Springer Singapore.

Somech, A., & Drach-Zahavy, A. (2013). Translating team creativity to innovation implementation: The role of team composition and climate for innovation. Journal of Management, 39(3), 684-708.

Wilson, C. (2013). Brainstorming and beyond: a user-centered design method. Newnes.


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