Creativity & Innovation: What It’s All About

Note: This post is one of a series covering all aspects of creativity. The rest of the series can be found here: Creativity Week

What is Creativity and Innovation?

Creativity and Innovation is something that we see every day and the results of it can be found in anything we see or touch. Being able to create or innovate is an ability to create something of value. And whether it’s through the arts and fiction or through design and physics, I think it’s both truly magnificent and vital in our world.

Both creativity and innovation can mean so much. They can be seen as similar and different, yet they can also both come from any kind of inspiration. I think the best way to feel, understand and see what creativity and innovation is, is truly by watching something else of creativity. And this amazing video, is exactly that.

Listen to the words and watch the scenes of creativity and innovation on the screen.

Is There A Difference Between Creativity and Innovation?

In the video above it said that “Creativity is no longer reserved for the musician or artist, it can be found in anyone. It’s the ability or the urge to make something of value.”

Creativity and Innovation next to a light bulbAnd honestly this sums kind of sums it for me. Creativity in its self IS no longer just for creators in the arts –such as musicians, artists or actors—but instead it includes anything of creation. From innovation in business, to the design of a product or the development of a scientific theory. It’s the ability or the urge to make something of value.

But yet, while I agree on the what the video says and think that creativity is more then just the arts, but also includes innovation. I also think that Innovation is a category, a segment or just a stem off of the creative title.

Creativity is the trunk of the tree, the title, but that it later stems off into separate yet often twisting branches of ‘the creative arts’ and ‘innovation’. And while we still think of creativity as the ability to draw, write or sing… its increasingly becoming a meaning of innovation and development to.

Creativity can represent anything from the design and creation of a product, painting of a picture or writing of a song or story; basically the creating of anything. But innovation stands only for something much more precise. It stands for the development or improvement of a new or old product that enhances and benefits life in a physical way.

So again, to recap, creativity is creating of something or the thought of creating something. And innovation is the creation of something or of new aspects to something, that will enhance and improve the world in a literal way, not just an artistic one.

For the rest of this post we’ll forget the trunk of creativity, the title or umbrella, but instead talk about the individual’s sections of creativity and innovation in the form of the creative arts.

Creativity and Innovation: Who Do We Consider As the Two?

While certain backgrounds and types of people can be labelled as much more likely to create or innovate then others, to label a person as one of these is rely much more on what they have done rather then the background or knowledge they have got.


Typical people who we might class as an innovator often come from the backgrounds of technology, engineering, science or design. But they don’t have to come from any of these. In fact some innovators don’t have an official background in anything, just an innovative idea.

Some of the most famous and world influencing people who we recognize around the world as innovators include:

  • Steve Jobs – after his many innovations in technology, design and marketing.
  • Henry Ford – after his innovation in the creation of the first assembly line manufacturing process.
  • James Dyson – after his scientific/engineering based innovation in cyclone technology vacuums.
  • Thomas Edison – after his scientific/engineering based innovations in many products including the world changing electric light bulb.

Creative Artists

As said before, creative arts or ‘the arts’ is most commonly known to include Artists, Musicians, Actors and Writers. But as the same with above, its not limited to just these. The creative arts can also include other people including marketers and designers, and even some children when they draw and paint.

Some of the most recognized people in the creative arts include:

  • William Shakespeare – for his theater show writing.
  • J.K Rowling – for her writing.
  • Vincent Van Gough and Claude Monet – for their painting.
  • Ludwig Van Beethoven – for his musical art.
  • Bob Dylan – for his music and song writing.

What Types of Creativity and Innovation Are There?

While both similar and linked, often one relying on the other, there are still different types of both creativity and innovation. Creative Arts and Innovation both stem from trunk of the creative tree, but they also have further stems coming from off of them. It’s that layer of branch in the tree of Creativity and Innovation that I’ll explain next.

Types of Creativity

Creativity has 4 types. These cross over one-another as shown in the picture below and are as the following.

The Creativity Matrix, the types of Creativity and InnovationCognitive creativity normally ends in a creation that came about after reasoning, thinking, analysing and interpreting. I guess the best way to explain is, its like cogs. A person will turn the first cog, to turn the next one, and the next one to come with an idea at the end of their definitive and conscious creative process.

The second main type is an emotional process. This is one that your emotions and mind can create or realize, and is one less common. An emotional creativeness can be that A-ha moment as an idea pops into your head or as your subconscious mind meets your conscious one.

Now the last two of the four are maybe less types of creativity and more to do with the timings and purpose behind it.

Number three. Deliberate creativity. For example, you may deliberately sit down as an artist, entrepreneur, scientist or engineer to come up with ideas and create any good innovations you come up with.

As number four is the complete opposite, its spontaneous and can come at any time, whether through your emotional creativeness or something that triggers your cognitive one.

Types of Innovation

Innovation can come in many forms and there are actually tens of types, but the following four are the main 4 types that we see in our lives each day.

The first type of innovation is Basic Research. Although this is an argued type of innovation, it is the innovation of something. When Einstein developed the theory of relativity he may not of innovated on a product or physical thing, but he had innovated the theories of science and revolutionized our ways of thinking as a human beings.

The second type of innovation is Sustaining Innovation where a company or person can innovate on something again and again. An example could be, making a product smaller but then later innovating its inner technology again, to make it even smaller again.

Disruptive Innovation is our third type of innovation and is a type that tends to be new approaches to old or previous products or services. An example could be, the introduction of digital camera’s into phones. This was a new way of doing something old; by bring two portable devices together.

And the last type of innovation is Breakthrough Innovation. This is the innovation of something completely new and is not just an improvement on one or more older products or theory’s.

Why is Creativity and Innovation Important?

So we now know what creativity and innovation is, who we recognize as accomplishing them and what types of them there are, but why are they important?

An Apple like a Globe - Creativity and InnovationThe ability for humans to create and innovate is an incredibly important practice for our world and society, and for it to progress and not only be better now but be better in the future to. But not only is creativity and innovation important for the world and its people as a whole, but as success driven people with aims of influencing and changing the world (whether that’s the whole world or just ‘our’ world) its vitally important for us to.

The ability to create and innovate is what enables us to impact, influence and change what’s around us and is exactly what we need to be able to succeed. Without creating things of value and without innovating on the things we do or the ways we do them, then how can we possible improve and reach further then the next person will.

For me, creativity and innovation are two of my most important and appreciated skills, and anything I can do to influence or emphasize on them is always at the top of my priorities.

How Can We Enhance Our Personal Creativity and Innovation?

Creativity must be practised and varied creative views must be seen. To become a more creative person its important to practice and be around creativity, whether that’s in the form of seeing and consuming it through art, music, writing or design, or whether its simply practising your art with another artistic friend. Anything you can consume and contemplate can influence and emphasize your creative abilities greatly.

How to Foster Innovation Excellence?For innovation, it’s not much different. Steve Jobs once said in a speech at the Academy of Achievement “The key thing is, if you’re going to make connections that are innovative, you’re going to connect two experiences together, and so you have to not have the same bag of experiences as everyone else does, or else your going to make the same connections, then you wouldn’t be innovative.”

And this is honestly the biggest point to take away, if you aim to be more innovative like I do. By living a varied life of different experiences, or even by just taking on one varied experience every now and again, you’ll become incredibly more innovative in your abilities and creations.

Travel to different places, take a gap year, take on projects or work experience in sectors you’ve never encountered before and make an effort to meet new and different people.

Further Reading: Steve Jobs – How To Be Intelligent

So thanks for reading a post much longer then our norm. But I think it’s important to recognize and understand both creativity and innovation and to implement them both in all of our lives. Take on-board what you’ve learned and do things a bit different, and maybe you to could become the next creative or innovative genius in our world?

How do you feel about creativity and innovation? And do you make a conscious effort to bring them into your life? Let us know in the comments below!
Wrote by Joe Brown