Creativity and innovation

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Creativity and innovation
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Creativity and innovation are closely related to the topic of change and development. A change is not possible without a new idea, a new beginning or new ways.


The term creativity comes from the Latin "creare" which translated means to create, to recreate, to invent or to select goal oriented.

The definition of creativity in educational terms is the creative force or creative capacity. Creativity is the ability to perform complex perceptions and to have an effect. For example, solving problems, creating or reinventing something, or thinking in a results-oriented way. Creativity is used in creating art, developing strategies, inventing products or in marketing. Thus, the term stands for every form of creative activity and thus affects all areas of human life. [1]


In economic terms, innovation is an innovation in the context of technical, social and economic change. Innovations result from ideas that create new products, services or processes. If these then have economic success and penetrate the market significantly in a new product group, it is an innovation. [2]


Creativity is a process of thinking that at best leads to an extraordinary and unique idea. Whether or not this idea actually works is not important at first. That is why creativity is very difficult to measure from a business perspective. Innovation, on the other hand, is the process by which this idea is transformed into a new product or service, i.e. into something that is actually tangible. Touch it. Try it out. And if it works, to make money. That is something that can be measured.

Processes of Creativity and Innovation

Both the creativity and the innovation process is often presented in simplified form as a linear process with recognizable and distinguishable phases. The creativity phase is preparation, incubation, cognition. [3]. The phase of innovation is discovery, research and development and ends with market introduction or diffusion. These steps are part of the process:

  • Convergence and Divergence: The attributes of convergence and divergence play a role in creativity. The creativity process is seen as the convergence in the preparation phase. Divergence is the main criterion of the cognition and incubation phase. The creativity process and the innovation process are different, but both processes have common characteristics and patterns. A successful realization of creativity and innovation processes can therefore result from a mixture of convergence and divergence.
  • Individual and Team Efforts: The basis for creativity and innovation is the individual effort of individuals and teamwork. The division of work and cooperation in the innovation process consists of two steps:
    1. The role of the individual in the group and his specific contribution to the innovation process
    2. This is where the focus is on the innovation team. Collaboration is very important for the innovation process, because without collaboration it can lead to disadvantages compared to others.
  • Supporting Creativity and Innovation Prozess: This is about facilitating activities that are carried out during these processes. For example, physical arrangements in the workspaces can support the process.

Innovation Methods

When generating alternatives for problem solving, which should not consist of existing answers to the problem but must be new and different. Speed is important here in order to be able to bring the idea to the market. This criterion must be fulfilled by the idea or innovation [4]:

  • The new product must have at least one advantage over the current offer from the point of view of the (potential) customer.
  • The new features must be compatible with existing habits and needs of the customer.
  • Functions as simple and self-explanatory as possible
  • Customer has the opportunity to test the new product

Organizational Innovation

Individual ideas or products can be identified as individual by experts, then „ creativity is the production of novel and useful ideas by an individual or small group of individuals working together” [5]. Creative ideas are the basis for innovation. Organizational innovation is the successful building on the ideas in an organization. The ideas can be different, like new products and services but also new structures and processes in the organization.

Organizational innovations concern the operational and organizational structure. These can be organizational process innovations or management innovations, e.g. new tools for measuring customer satisfaction or optimizing delivery processes to reduce costs. Examples in business are the 360-degree evaluation of employees or the change from a hierarchical organizational structure to a team or project structure.


  1. Kairies (2016)
  2. Vianna (2014)
  3. Haner (2005) p. 289
  4. Moring & Deurloo (2018)
  5. Teresa M. Amabile (1988)


Author: Paulina Hardegen