Enhancing innovation requires a creative approach, but where does creativity end and innovation begin when it comes to enhancing performance? Creativity is the practice of problem-solving and coming up with new ideas or novel ways of doing something. Innovation is building on this creative output, taking the next step and putting ideas into practice.
- When it comes to innovation, it's easy to assume some people and teams just have it; they're naturally innovative. On the contrary, research tells us that innovative teams have to work enhancing creativity. They purposely practice innovation as a process, and only then is performance impacted. The question is often asked "Where does creativity end and innovation begin "when it comes to enhancing performance?" Let's start by defining these terms.
Creativity is the practice of problem solving and coming up with new ideas or novel ways of doing something. Innovation is building on this creative thinking, taking the next step and putting ideas into practice, creating an output that can be tested and measured. When we talk about performance, we're discussing the action or process of performing a task or function. In this case, we're looking at how creativity and innovation help you to perform at an improved standard, whether that be in your work or personal life.
And there is a very clear and proven link. Researchers for decades have been interested in finding out what it takes to create an innovative team, and it's clear there are two key factors. Firstly, the idea generation phase, which can either be worked on alone or in groups. This part of the process is all about thinking and exploring, either in your head or by discussing options with others.
This is where the focus is what if thinking. What if we could improve our products? What if we could create a new service? What if I could design a new process? This is about coming up with ideas, and it's what we refer to as creativity. This is an important first step, because if you jump straight into the action phase without the idea exploration, you can waste valuable time and resources experimenting without thinking through the whole process.
The next step is the innovation phase, and this is all about taking that creative thinking and exploration, and putting it into action. In order to do this, you have to refine your ideas, challenge your thinking, and plan exactly how you will apply your ideas. Innovation requires action. You may find you're more comfortable in the idea generation phase or the action phase.
This is why it's so important to focus on innovation as a team. You may be skilled at one part of the process, where as another team member may be effective at a different part of the process. By working together, you're covering all aspects of the innovation process, and you'll compliment each other's strengths. Both creativity and innovation impact performance. In order to enhance or create a new product, service, or process, you need to start with ideas, and then move into action.
You can't be part of an innovative process if you get stuck in either of these phases. In the fast-paced world of work we find ourselves in today, where new developments move at the speed of light, in order to enhance performance, remain competitive, and be on the top of your game, you need to make innovation a priority.
- Recognize how team innovation impacts a company’s success.
- Define the psychological components of team innovation, including the challengers, executors, and enablers.
- Determine the component strengths of team innovation.
- Examine the best ways to accept bias.
- Explore the effect of experimentation on innovation.
- Recognize the impact of reflection on innovation.
- Identify the fundamentals of creating a space for an innovation team to thrive.
- Determine the best ways to create an innovation charter.
- Break down the importance learning on the move, which helps helps a successful team innovate to grow.