June 14, 2018
John MulderJohn Mulder

Creativity vs. Innovation

Creativity and innovation are often used interchangeably in conversation. But they really are two, completely different animals. Especially as it pertains to business.


When you think creatively, it is as they say, outside of the box. Innovation on the other hand is the result of out-of-the-box thinking. The major difference between innovation and creativity is that creativity is manifesting ideas and potential concepts. Innovation is embracing those ideas and turning them into reality. One may feed off of the other: you cannot have innovation with creativity. You can, however have creativity without innovation. 


People who are creative may have ideas. Great ideas. Maybe they are different and stand out. But that creative idea is just an idea without an innovator. Innovators have passion. They are the driving force. Innovators are the farmers that tend to the seeds of an idea and make it grow. A creative idea without innovation is just a concept. You cannot let it sit and hope that someone else will make it a reality. It requires innovation. It requires you to make it happen.


Walt Disney is regarded as both a creative thinker and innovator. His film Snow White was the first, feature-length, animated film ever. His classic started out as a creative idea. It was the seed of something that had never been done before. Innovation only happened when animators took pen to cell and actually gave the idea life. 


Creative leadership drives a business. Leaders take their creative ideas and introduce them to their team to lead them to innovation. Theses leaders give new perspectives to old ideas. They have an air of passion that can make the dullest work seem fresh and fun. They can also take failure, accept it, and learn from it. 


Pay the creative people who can actually put ideas on paper and make things happen – Those are the valuable ones. Walt Disney knew this and surrounded himself with like-minded people. People who saw that the seed was there, and took it upon themselves to tend it and watch it bloom. 


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