Creativity vs Innovation

We have creative types and we have innovators.  And often, we confuse the two.

So which is it?  What’s the difference between a ‘creative’ person and an ‘innovative’ person?

The answer lies in execution.

I think there is something more important than believing: Action! The world is full of dreamers, there aren’t enough who will move ahead and begin to take concrete steps to actualize their vision. – W. Clement Stone

When you think of a creative person, do you imagine someone who’s always coming up with ideas, but never producing anything of value?  What about the typographers, the graphic artists, the photographers and the writers?  Aren’t they considered creative?  Surely creative means more than ‘full of crazy ideas,’ doesn’t it?  Creative must mean more than just ideas, for without creativity all those creative pursuits mentioned above would be meaningless and fruitless.

Boat Car in 1971 Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race

image credit: State Library of New South Wales on Flickr

Conversely, when you think of an innovator, do images of ‘garage tinkerer’ and ‘mad scientist’ come to mind?  Do you think of something more business-like, more dare I say, professional?  Someone too focused to have any fun, living a dry and unexciting life?  Names like Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Thomas Edison, and others ring true of this perception of what it means to be an innovator.  but they’re wrong.

You can’t innovate without creativity, so there *must* be some blending of the two that works properly.

Let’s consider then, that creativity is ‘the act of envisioning new ideas, concepts, and systems’ and innovation as ‘the practice of implementing creative thoughts and ideas.’

So the difference between creativity and innovation is one of action.  Each requires a different type of action, and creativity can stand on its own; just not for long.  For without action, all ideas are useless.

So which will you be today?

A creative type, full of ideas and dreams?

Or an innovator, inherently creative, breathing life to dreams and ideas not yet seen in the physical world?

Leave us a comment below, and together as a group we’ll help hold you accountable for your innovation.