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As general, creativity and innovation is the trasition of knowledge and ideas into something of business value. This is a perfectly acceptable definition, but again like the failure to differentiate between information and knowledge it is not very useful for the purpose of discussing the subject area .creativity and innovations are different in many ways such as the process , risk involved, subsequent and the organization environment.to investigate this in detail, this essay is divided into three main parts. First part delas with the definations of creativity and innovation according different researchers and authors.in second part, the difference is discussed in details at individual and organization level and different process cycle of both. And in the last part, all discussion is summed up with comments and suggestions about the research.
Creative thinking, creativity and innovation are separate and distinct things. Creative thinking is a process that can be taught, creativity is a phenomenon about which can be taught, and innovation is more than creativity. Creativity is to coming up with new and unique idea which are helpful and innovation is to bring these ideas into life (stein 1974, woodman, sawyer and griffen 1993). West and Farr (1990) consider "creativity as the ideation component of innovation and innovation as encompassing both the proposal and applications
of the new ideas" (p. 10). Robinson and Stern differs these two terms as follows:
Creativity - brings improvements and changes to existing technology and environment of the companies.
Innovation - brings entire new products and activities in an organization.
The key words, improvements and new, help define the difference in these terms. However,
creative thinking is part of the innovation process. Richard Byrd, a well known consultant defines innovation as "creativity times risk taking." There also exists the enormous graveyard of innovations that have never been adopted and not necessarily because they are the results of repetitive, foolish, or simply "reproductive" processes. Paolo Legrenzi, Creativity and Innovation, http://www.iuav.it/Ricerca1/Dipartimen/dADI/Working-Pa/wp_2007_02.pdf)
Most researchers and managers recognize that creativity at the individual level represents only part of the challenge. Organizations must create environments that allow and encourage employees to engage in creativity. Most organizations have developed layers of rules, procedures and bureaucratic processes that stifle creativity (MacKenzie, 1998).To be creative, the management has to tolerate the mistakes and accept the degree of risk involved with this. It also requires the long term commitment of time and resources whereas; the risk of failure is also there to be considered (Yukl, 2006). Creativity is the long term investment of any organization, which can't be start or stop any time. Firms commonly encourage employees to use their creativity and judgment through empowerment (Gandz and Bird, 1996). Hence, the management culture of an organization is the major factor which initiates the creativity in an organization.
On the other hand, much lower degree of risk is involved in the innovation. In innovation the success is ascertain, so the process can be terminated at any desired stage. Innovation does not require a long term commitment of time and resources. Innovation is more likely to occur in groups where there is support for innovation, and where innovation attempts are rewarded rather than punished (Amabile, 1983; Kanter, 1983)
In modern age, creativity is considered as a science which can be learnt. Several universities offer courses and degrees in the field of creativity and creative problem solving where as there are only a few offer coerces in the field of innovation. For organizations it is easy to train their employees more creative and effective in their work. On the other hand, innovation is much more informal field. No specific body of knowledge serve a basic of teaching and learning for innovation. Most of innovative techniques are derived from the basics of creativity.
Process of creativity:
The raw materials for creativity are effort, practice, and study. which are essential to accomplished a highest level of creativity (Hayes, 1989; Kaufman & Baer, 2002; Weisberg, 1999). Three components play vital role in creativity
Expert skills and knowledge is although essential for the creativity but it is very complicated to define the relationship between them. Even some researchers argue that excess of expert knowledge and skills have negative effect on creativity of a person (James, 1908; Simonton, 1984; Weisberg, 1995). Minsky (1997), argued that much of our knowledge and experience is used to avoid negative experiences- which sometimes discourage the creativity because many times these negative experiences results in creativity. Without proper knowledge and study, a mathematician like Ramanujan, cannot uses his abilities to full extent and unknowingly re discover others work (Gardner, 1983; Sternberg, Kaufman, & Pretz, 2002).
Creative thinking is the ability of a person to think about the idea and problems from different angle as compared to everyone els. This quality is very much inherited in personality as well as the working environment and his approach to the work.Â Â As Csikszentmihalyi (1996) find out in his reasearch, creative people distinguish from others in many prospect, one of most important is to think creatively rather than analytically.
Expertise and creative thinking are a individual's raw materials- his or her natural resources, if you will. But a third factor- motivation- determines what peoples will actually do. If an individual have outstanding educational credentials and a great facility in generating new prospective to do a particular job, but if he lacks the motivation to do that job, he will not do that; his expertise and creative thinking will not give him any advantage. People will be more creative when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself- and not by external pressures.
Process of innovation:
Many researchers have argue that the innovation is not a linear process (Drazin and Schoonhoven, 1996; van de ven, 1986; Scgroeder et al 1986; Van de ven at al 1999) it may be conceived of as cyclical with periods of innovation initiation, implementation, adaptation and stabilization. Creativity is likely to be most evident in first stage of innovation
Different researches terms and defines the key elements of the fuzzy front end (FFE) differently which makes it much complicated and difficult to find common terms.The comparison was complicated because there was a lack of common terms and definitions for key elements of the FFE. It is almost impossible to creat new knowledge and distinguishes different parts of the process without common terms and vocabulary (Krough, Ichijo, and Nonaka 2000). It would become very difficult to understand a thing when different people uses different terms for the same thing. Thus we try to come on the same terms for different stages of FFE to enhance our understandings .The front end of innovation, or what us often called fuzzy front end , presents one of the greatest opportunities for improving the overall innovation process.
New concept development model:
The NCD model, shown in figure below, compromises of three key elements:
The inner area defines the five key elements comprising the front end of innovation
The engine or Bull's Eye portion which drives the five front-end elements and is fuelled by the leadership and culture of the organisation.
The influencing factors or environment on the periphery. Consists of organizational capabilities, business strategy, the outside world (i.e., distribution channels, customers and competitors), and the enabling science that will be utilized.
FIVE FRONT END ELEMEENTS:
This is where the organization, by design or default, identifies the opportunities that the company might want to pursue. Business and technological opportunities are explicitly considered so that resources will eventually be allocated to new areas of market growth and/pr operating effectiveness and efficiency. This element is topically driven by the goals of the business. The opportunity might be a totally new direction for the business or a minor upgrade to an existing project.
2. Opportunity analysis:
Additional information is needed for translating opportunity identification into specific business and technology opportunities and making early and other uncertain technology and market assessment. Extensive effort may be committed for focus groups, market studies and scientific expertise. However, the amount of effort expended is dependent upon the attractiveness of the opportunity.
3. Idea genesis:
Genesis is the development and maturation of the opportunity into a concrete idea. This represents an evolutionary process in which ideas are built upon, torn down, combined, reshaped, modified, and updated. Ideas may be generated by anyone with a passion for a particular idea,
problem, need, or situation. Ideas may be generated or enriched by others
through the efforts of a key individual or "champion" (Markham 1998; Markham
and Griffin 1998).
4. Idea selection:
In most businesses there are so many products/process ideas that the critical activity is to choose which idea to pursue in order to achieve the most business value. Selection may be as simple as an individual's choice among many self generated options or as formalized as a prescribed portfolio method. More formalized project selection and resource allocation in the FEI is difficult die to limited information and understanding at this point.
5. Concept and technology development:
The final element of the model involves the development of a business case based on estimates of market potential, customer needs, investment requirements, competitor assessments, technology unknowns, and overall project risk.
The environmental factors influences The FFE to a great extent. These factors include cooperation's environment, reacerch and development of technologies, the influence of external business environment and changing demands of customers and the influence of competitors. The external business environment includes the polital and social development of the countery, laws of government, environmental laws and regulations. The changing technology and economic trends such as patents, copyright as well as the Stage-gate process of innovation. These all factors have been described by the porter in his FIVE FORCES MODEL.
THE ENGINE (LEADERSHIP, CULTURE, AND
The element of leadership, culture, and business strategy sets the environment
for successful innovation. Proficiency in this element distinguishes highly innovative
companies from less innovative ones (Koen et al. 2001). Continuous
senior management support for innovation has been shown in numerous studies
to be critical to new product development success (Cooper and Kleinschmidt
1995; Song and Parry 1996; Swink 2000). Culture in the FFE fundamentally differs from that in the NPD and operations
parts of the organization (Buckler 1997).
Japan railway east is the largest rail carrier in the world. When they decided to construct a new bullet-train line through the mountains north of Tokyo, they never anticipated that this would open the doors of a new business horizon for them- the beverages.
JR east has to construct many tunnels and water causes problem there. The JR plans to drain this water away. But the crew inside the tunnel found a new solution of this problem; they were using to drink that. One of the workers liked it taste so much that he give suggestion to the JR to bottle this water and sale as premium mineral water instead of draining that into runoffs. His idea was so powerful and creative that the management of japan rails decided to implement this and soon the water was marketed with the brand name of OSHIMIZU. Within a short period of time it become so popular that JR plants vending machines at most of its platforms and establish a subsidiary company who only deals with this water. This idea turns so profitable that in 1994, sales of Oshimizu beverages were $ 47 million and it's also started to sell juices as well as iced and hot teas and coffees.
We can clearly see that the whole process starts with a creative idea comes in the mind of a worker in the tunnel. But this idea generates a whole new dimension of the business for Japan railways and makes one of remarkable innovations and achievements in recent history of the business.
(Corporate creativity: how innovation and improvement actually happen
Â By Alan G. Robinson, Sam Stern)