By Brian~WDWithMe, Apr 8 2016 01:12PM
We have all heard the saying that “there’s no such thing as an original idea.” I don’t believe this. Many people lump innovation and creativity together. There is an age-old argument about this, with both sides having some valid points. My view on this is that they are definitely separate and distinct. As I see it, you can not be innovative without being creative—but you can certainly be creative without being innovative. Just because the technology, processes or other means may exist that are being used to generate the new idea does not take away from the innovation of using Creative Cross Pollination to generate something completely new. Here’s an example.
When Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso portrayed the human body in a new way…with hard lines and angles…Cubism was borne. This was innovation. Since then, many artists have replicated the style, and that has been done is some very creative ways. So what’s the litmus test for innovation vs creativity? In my eyes, innovators are the first ones to the table. They are the ones who do something that truly has never been done before. Once Braque & Picasso created, or innovated, the first cubist portraits, nobody else could claim that achievement—but they certainly could put some unusual creative spins on the concept.
So yes, while creativity certainly is important in the entrepreneurial process, innovation is essential. True innovation leads to paradigm shifts. It takes us to places we have never been before and, as Joel Barker, the well-known futurist has noted, a true paradigm shift has the power to set everyone back to zero. True innovation, when it happens, unleashes powerful creative follow-ups that can have profound impacts on business and life as we know it. Sometimes for years, or even decades, to come. This is the reason why true innovation and true innovators do not come along that often.
As you can see, innovation then, is more than just a good idea. To innovate, whether you are in business, public service, government, a parent, or, in the case of Disney’s Imagineers, theme park design, connecting the dots—or creative cross-pollination—is a critical part of the process. You need to be able to able to blend creative thinking and logical ability. There has to be a reason...a method to the madness! But, most importantly, true innovation requires us to rummage through our mental filing cabinets and associate things together that have never been associated before.
This post is an excerpt from my book in progress:
"Creative Cross Pollination: A Former Imagineer's Take on the Innovation Process"
I welcome your comments and thoughts!
I enjoyed reading this and I'd definitely like to check out your book when it comes out.
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