Creativity and innovation are typical examples of conceptions that the whole world talks about, but few can truly define or distinguish. Most of the time, the two terms are used interchangeably which is not correct. If we want to know how well we are performing with reference to creativity and innovation, we need to understand them well and must be able to draw a line of distinction between them.
Creativity has been described as the process of generating new ideas by the use of imagination which leads to a different understanding or outcome, whereas innovation is affianced with planning and implementation to realize the ideas so that a new product could be produced, a new service could be rendered or a new method could be devised.
Some managers are creative and some may not. It is easy being creative oneself and a challenge to develop creativity in others by encouraging, listening, discussing the team to come up with out-of-box ideas and thoughts. Some managers may not have creative ideas in their mind but will be competent enough in managing, encouraging and supporting team member’s creativity.
To manage creativity effectively, we need to:
- Create an atmosphere where creativity could embellish
- Build a physical environment where it will be encouraged
- Encourage team members who are creative indeed
- Develop less creative team members and help boost-up their confidence
- Organize brainstorming sessions, to produce out-of-box ideas
- Welcome ideas from anybody who are directly or indirectly associated with the product or service or process
- Debate and encounter ideas to assess its feasibility and practicability
- Optimize or realign team’s assignment so that they could spare some time to think
- Correlate creativity with rewards