Creativity and Innovation: Do You Know Their Differences?

The terms Creativity and Innovation are constantly used by companies in search of advances that make them stand out from their competitors in the market. In fact, these are two professional skills that are increasingly valued by companies when studying the main strengths of their future employees.

And while these two terms are very closely related, they have different meanings. How are creativity and Innovation different then? Keep reading, and all your doubts will be quickly cleared up.

What is Creativity?

Expressed as simply as possible, creativity is the ability of a person to generate new ideas, alternatives, or solutions to a problem in a way that is different from all previously imagined options. We are creative when we leave the comfort of what we already know to find a new approach to help us solve a given problem.

Being creative implies not being afraid to think differently and giving space to crazy ideas if that is the case. And nothing happens to go out of the manual in the creative process: creativity has a high component of trial and error, madness and ingenuity applied to thinking. This is the only way to come up with original solutions that no one before dared to contemplate.

Creativity can occur in any area of ​​life, not just in the business environment. For example, we can find a creative way to put an old suitcase to new use by turning it into a comfortable bed for our beloved kitty: our ability to see beyond the obvious has allowed us to devise an alternative to having to get rid of that suitcase that He accompanied us on so many trips. At the same time, we managed to give our kitten a bed where he would enjoy spending hours lying down. 

It is, therefore, a process within reach of anyone, which is difficult to quantify and whose base is mainly imaginative.

What do we understand by Innovation?

For its part, Innovation has a different meaning from creativity. Innovating consists of applying new ideas to enhance the value of a company, an organization or society. Indeed you can also innovate when looking for contemporary comforts for your dear feline friend, but it is not the meaning we generally associate with innovation processes. 

Unlike creativity, Innovation is more easily measurable since it consists of introducing changes in systems that are relatively stable. For example, a manufacturer of swimming articles will be innovating by applying its creative resources in the design of a solution to a specific need of swimmers. 

This would be the case when developing a new frontal breathing tube, perfect for swimming without turning your head to take each breath of oxygen.

Innovation focuses not so much on conceiving new ideas but on putting them into practice and overcoming the challenges of launching something new (user mistrust, reservations when adopting new solutions, etc.). If you want to start a new business project, Innovation will be essential to success.

Differences between creativity and Innovation

Once each concept – creativity and Innovation – has been explained, it will be easier to extract their main differences. 

  1. While creativity is going to focus on the work of illuminating new ideas or concepts, Innovation is going to be in charge of executing these ideas to generate some value.
  2. If creativity is a creative process, Innovation is a productive process. In the first, there are no limits other than the ability to generate new ideas, while in the second, there are budget, technology, etc. limits.
  3. Creativity only sometimes has the purpose of promoting the growth of an organization, something that is typical of Innovation. However, Innovation can only occur with creative people putting their creative skills to work.
  4. In business, creativity is related to the generation of original ideas. For its part, Innovation will come when facing the challenge of introducing something new to the market.

Putting it all together, if creativity is the first step in identifying a new way of doing things, Innovation is putting it into practice. Although both are necessary for business, only the second concept will translate into creating value and obtaining benefits.


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