When Does Creativity Become Innovation?

Last Updated Oct 21, 2008 8:46 PM EDT

This question, posed at the recent 14th Annual International Creativity Conference in Africa, seems simple to answer at first. Creativity is generally defined as coming up with new and useful ideas and innovation is implementing those ideas. However, we all know it is not that simple.

Kobus Neethling, President of the South African Creativity Foundation cited an international survey (March 2008) which concluded that the factors that are the greatest hindrance to organisation creativity are:

  • Time
  • Personal authority to initiate new ideas
  • An organisational culture that does not support creativity
  • Leadership (that is not passionate about creativity)
  • Lack of creativity purpose
What do the world's leading experts recommend we do?

Here some of the key recommendations from the international speakers:

  • Build a strategy and culture for sustainable innovation by creating an "Innovation Ecosystem" that includes your leadership, your culture, your partners and your people and their creativity. ---Cheryl Perkins, Former Chief Information Officer for Kimberly-Clark
  • S.P.R.E.A.D. (Support, Promote, Recognise, Encourage, Apply and Develop) creative thinking by developing creative communities. ---Dr Robert Alan Black, USA
  • Do more productive thinking (understand challenges, create possibilities and spark action). ---Tim Hurson, USA
  • Innovation gives a business a price and performance that can be measured: an "Innovation Premium" â€"--Bill Jarrard, Australia
Let me know if you are interested in more details from the conference.
  • Robert Gerrish

    Robert Gerrish is a coach, author and professional speaker and the founder of Flying Solo (www.flyingsolo.com.au), the Australian online community for solo business owners.