Amazon. Google. Uber. Apple. The relevance of originality and ingenuity goes without saying in today’s world economy (The Most Innovative Companies of 2017).

From garage to global industry mogul, but certainly not over-night, growing a high-impact enterprise needs resourcefulness, engagement, agility and persistence. We need creativity and innovation to stand out from the crowd and come out on top. Innovation is the activation of creativity.

Creativity vs. Innovation

In a survey of over 1,500 CEOs from 60 nations and 33 industries, creativity was ranked over integrity and global thinking as the most important leadership quality (IBM, 2010).

According to a PWC survey of over 1,700 executives, innovation was ranked one of the top 3 key drivers of organic growth for all companies—regardless of sector or geography (PWC 2015).

The common reciprocation of creativity and innovation is an important opportunity for clarification. Creativity is the generation of ideas. Innovation is considered the process of taking those ideas and turning them into products and sales. Essentially, it is a division of labour between thinking and doing. This is a critical distinction for organisations looking to be innovation enthusiasts while leading through change. An idea is simply not all it takes.

Taking Great Ideas to the Next Level

Moving from creative concept to embedded innovation requires a shift in thinking and behaviours. To get going, think FRESH.

Freedom to fail… Create an environment where experimentation is encouraged and failure is fuel! It’s time to resist the constant need to analyse and design or ‘analysis paralysis’, and start to trial and test.

Resilience… Thriving through constant change requires a resilient mindset and the ability to evolve through both successes and setbacks. A fixed mindset can’t expand, where a growth mindset asks: ‘what can I learn from this? How can I improve?’ (check out Carol Dweck’s Mindset Series & the research by Professor Angela Duckworth on the imperative impact of grit)

Embrace diversity to deepen experiences and utilise talent at your fingertips–both internally and externally! Fascinating research has recently shown the benefits close intercultural relationships bring for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, encouraging international employees to break free from their social comfort zones and engage in cultural learning (Lu et al., 2017).

Share ideas and resources across the business, support open communication free from hierarchical barriers, and listen and learn. There’s a clear connection between creativity and humility, to develop and grow our thinking, we need to stay open to opinions, expertise and insights from others.

Have an action plan to reach the next level and make those ideas real life! Celebrate each success along the way, big or small. This encourages the innovation process to continue. “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out” – Robert Collier.

Ask yourself:

Are you engaging the talent and ideas of your people?

Have you utilised your organisations’ diversity?

Do you use failure as fuel?

Now take action!

Innovation is only the beginning… This is the first in the series of four Change Readiness blogs from ChangingPoint.

Find out more about how ChangingPoint can support your organisation be more innovative and change ready at changing-point.com


References

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Written by Jayne Ruff

Jayne Ruff, Occupational Psychologist & Managing Director at ChangingPoint. To find out more about how ChangingPoint can help you align minds to transform your business, get in touch.

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