0409ctt creativity innovation


New research suggests that businesses and academia don’t do a good job integrating innovation and creativity. Credit: Rice U.

Creativity and innovation are definitely buzzwords when it comes to defining success.

If you’ve been following CTT, you know that innovation is one component of the recipe for success in manufacturing. But new research from Rice University, University of Edinburgh, and Brunel University suggests that there is a serious gap between creativity and innovation when it comes to implementation in business and academia.

Although the authors note that two companies serve as models for institutionalized success in this arena—3M and Google—most have some work to do.

The research, which is slated for publication in the annual review issue of the Journal of Mangement, is a review of research on workplace creativity and innovation from 2002 to 2013.

Author and business professor Jing Zhou says in a Rice University press release, “There are many of us who study employee creativity and many of us who study innovation and idea implementation, but we don’t talk to each other; we’re siloed. The review’s goal is to integrate both.”

Likewise, those ideas are understood but infrequently married in the workplace. According to the release, “The authors said creativity and innovation are complex, multilevel phenomena that pan out over time and require skillful leadership to maximize the benefits of new ways of working.”

Many companies fail to implement these strategies because they focus on current goals and avoid risks, which are a necessary component of innovation.

The solution? “We need to better train managers to see an idea and run with it,” Zhou says. “If you wait for the idea to be ready to be implemented, it might be too late. Managers need to capture promising ideas and then translate them into products, processes and improved customer service.”

Perhaps some of the US’s new innovation hubs can help leaders in manufacturing foster creativity into practical innovations. How do you cultivate creativity in the workplace? 

Feature image credit: opensource.com on Flickr.