Within the Media industry innovation is a word we use so often, but I often wonder, do we really understand the true meaning of the word? How about the word creativity? I am constantly hearing people use the word ‘innovation’ when realistically I think what they actually mean is ‘creativity’.
‘Does it really matter?’ I hear you say! Well yes, we have a tendency to think that by being innovative we are being creative, which is all well and good but creativity without implementation has zero effect. Let’s stop thinking up fantastic creative ideas that never come to full fruition and start making things happen.
Ask the experts!
Sternberg & Lubart, authors of ‘Defying the Crowd’ Define Creativity as “Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity is characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing. If you have ideas, but don’t act on them, you are imaginative but not creative.” Therefore innovative, but not creative.
So what happens when we talk innovation but instead just do creative?
Can we bake a cake based on creativity alone?
If we were to run a competition where we requested users to submit their own cake recipe, the competition would be extremely successful in terms of entrants, as people like to submit recipes of their own, but all we have are thousands of recipes with no physical cake, If there’s no cake then there is no innovation, it’s just creativity.
Like hundreds of companies today, we could settle for just recipes, stick a headline on it and call it ‘innovation’ but is it really?
To be truly innovative we need to stand out from the crowd, and creativity alone just doesn’t cut it, we need to move past the ideas stage and actually start implementing them!
So let’s look at our competition again, let’s say we request users to submit a physical cake based on their own recipe. Yes, fewer entrants but we have a physical cake, we have a combination of both creativity and innovation as well as implementation. We can see, taste and smell the cake, we can see both creativity and innovation in the ingredients chosen, in the design, the colour and how it’s been baked!
The lesson learnt, we need to stop gathering pretty recipes that will never be baked – let them eat cake!