Are creativity and innovation that alike?

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Are creativity and innovation that alike?

December 29, 2015

Practitioners' Guide

Though we may feel compelled by experience to believe creativity and innovation are similar, recent research shows key differences, writes leadership team consultant Roger Schwarz in Harvard Business Review. While creativity is usually considered the first stage of innovation, what facilitates creativity may sometimes ‘hinder innovation – and vice versa’, he notes in his article, ‘What the Research Tells Us About Team Creativity and Innovation’.

The findings so far may not be clear enough to guide leaders. ‘We know how some factors affect creativity and innovation, but we’re only just beginning to understand some of the more complex relationships,’ says Schwarz, who is the author of Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams: How You and Your Team Get Unstuck to Get Results.

We do know already that a compelling vision, task orientation and strong internal and external communication contribute to both innovation and creativity. But implementation, the second stage of innovation, may ‘require different individual skills and team structures and processes’ than those needed in the idea generation stage. This means, ‘you will need to create a team that can operate in both modes, switching among them as appropriate.’

Also, you should be aware that diversity, while offering benefits, could have costs. Yet, the ‘right level of conflict’ may also be productive, Schwarz adds.

Read the full article here.

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