Creativity, Invention, and Innovation

Creativity, Invention, and Innovation

Sérgio Maravilhas (CETAC.MEDIA - Porto and Aveiro Universities, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch401
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Background

Creativity, traditionally, was related with the Arts and wasn’t credited for its value in business (Majaro, 1990; O'Dell, 2004). The creatives were painters, designers, musicians, and sculptors, never allowed to be part of the board of a company, unless that company had something to do with the Arts itself. People use to think that creativity was a characteristic that someone had at birth. Or you have it – being born with it -, or you don’t. Recently, creativity is seen as very important in the business world (Van Wulfen, 2013), showing that creativity is useful and can be of great use in other areas than just the artistic world. Advertising started to use some of the tools that designers and musicians use to embed in their activity and the results were positive (Roman, Maas & Nisenholtz, 2009). Marketing used it also in communication and new product development2 strategies with excellent results (Duailibi & Simonsen Jr., 2005). But, only when Apple obtained its big success with iconic products like the iPod, the iMac, the iPhone, and now the iPad the role of creativity in design and new product development became crystal clear (Andrew & Sirkin, 2008; Isaacson, 2011; Skarzynski & Gibson, 2010). Apple was, in fact, the first big company with its Head of Design – Sir Jonathan Ive - sitting at the Board right next to the Heads of Operations, Finance, Marketing in an equal position (Cruikshank, 2008; Isaacson, 2011; Lashinsky, 2012).

Now, we believe that everybody can be creative (Adair, 2011). Learning to use the right tools makes us more creative than we thought we were (Lafley & Charam, 2009). Creativity is being used in all aspects of life, like: education, business, entrepreneurship, social media, non-for-profit organizations, fund raising and sponsorships (Andrew & Sirkin, 2008; Skarzynski & Gibson, 2010).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Serendipity: the ability to make important discoveries by accident. Not all the ideas for new products or processes appear voluntarily and intentionally. Sometimes a mixture of luck and preparation provides valuable discoveries. A serendipitous discovery results from the combination of a happy coincidence with perspicacity.

Creative Imitation: The strategy followed by some companies that imitate something already existing but adding value. Often the imitator has the ability to foresee, better than the original creator, how the product or service can be best suited to meet the needs of consumers, changing it to match this observation.

Invention: The creation or discovery of a new idea, including the concept, design, model creation or improvement of a particular piece, product or system. Even though an invention may allow a patent application, in most cases it will not give rise to an innovation.

Thinking Tools: Techniques for generating ideas or creativity tools. These conceptual tools support the creation of new ideas and allow to think ‘outside the box’, creating solutions out of the normal, rational, logical way of everyday thinking that can be creatively developed in the creation of innovations.

Creativity: reasoning that produces imaginative new ideas and new ways of looking at reality. Creativity is an individual process, arises from the idea that popped into someone's head. Relates facts or ideas without previous relationship and is discontinuous and divergent. No Creative Process exists if there is no intention or purpose. The essence of the Creative Process is to seek new combinations.

Sustainability: The ability of producing goods and conduct business without exhausting nature’s resources and polluting the environment or, if not totally possible, do the less harm and take measures to compensate the harm done. Can also be used to designate the ability of an organization of being capable of maintain itself on operation, generating profits and doing the best that it can for every stakeholder and shareholder.

Innovation: The application of new knowledge, resulting in new products, processes or services or significant improvements in some of its attributes. When a new solution is brought to the market to solve a problem in a new or better way than the existent solutions.

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