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Insight: The difference between creativity and innovation and tips on achieving both in business

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Creativity and innovation — these are two powerful words that disrupt the current way of living. As we live in overly-saturated markets and the same old products that can be dated centuries ago, the world wishes to celebrate people and businesses who take up to the challenge and use not just one, but both of these strong traits. The UN has designated 21st of April as World Creativity and Innovation Day.

In celebration of this wonderful event, Eloah Paes Ramalho, Community Manager at SavvySME, asked, “Creativity and Innovation: what’s the difference and can you have both?” With much excitement, SavvySME’s Top Influencer in Entrepreneurship, Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO at Mavens & Moguls, answered and said that both are working hand-in-hand. According to Arnof-Fenn, creativity is the ability to think of new solutions to existing problems and innovation is creating something new such as a product, idea, or method.

She added that though creativity does not bear solutions to the problems directly, it is vital to have when innovation is in line. And while innovation is measurable unlike creativity, innovation won’t happen without creative people.

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Melinda Stevenson, CEO at Dynamic Zenergy, very passionately, gave her insights about the long-standing debate. Also, her own story of how creativity and innovation led her to become successful with her business.

According to Stevenson, “Creativity is the process of creating something from nothing. It can be an original idea or the result of combining different ideas.” She went on and said, “Innovation turns an existing idea or product into a new and improved version. It can be a creative solution to a problem or the result of applying new technology to an old product.”

On the matter of having both, pointing out how there’s a long debate on the ability of having both, she said that both are not mutually exclusive and can be essential components of businesses and projects. From her words believing that creativity and innovation can work together and is therefore a possibility of having both is existent.

From Stevenson’s experience, an innovation award in the form of an all-employee challenge should help a business gather ideas that may address a pain point. Concept is, the Managing Director will ask all willing employees to submit an idea and from then on a couple will be shortlisted. Soon as shortlisted ideas are announced, employees are evaluated further. Depending on the company’s needs and budget, they may choose top 3 or 5 or even more then provide a budget to implement it. This will provide a good environment for employees to ideate and collaborate with each other.

Stevenson also said that she received a surprise gift from the senior leadership team— a book titled “Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy industry” written by David C. Robertson with Bill Breen. Having won an award and receiving such a kind gesture is great and it gave her extra push to do better. Her experience shows how one’s creativity can lead to innovative solutions. Moreover, how a business’ act of kindness can motivate its employees that will soon benefit the company.

Stevenson added 4 practical tips towards achieving creativity and innovation in the business being:

1. Encourage employees to be creative and innovative. It can be done through praise and recognition and providing opportunities for employees to experiment and try new things.
2. Create an environment that is conducive to creativity and innovation. It means providing ample space for employees to work in, promoting collaboration among team members, and encouraging a relaxed work ethic.
3. Make use of technology tools that support creativity and innovation. For example, you can use software that helps employees brainstorm new ideas or tools that help them develop prototypes of their ideas.
4. Experiment with new business models and strategies. It can help you find new ways to market your products or services and explore new ways to generate revenue.

The full discussion can be seen in this link. For other trending topics, insights, and discussions, please visit www.savvysme.com

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