The Value of Creativity and Innovation in Entrepreneurship

Drucker (1985) argued that innovation is the tool of entrepreneurship. In addition, both innovation and entrepreneurship demand creativity. Creativity is a process by which a symbolic domain in the culture is changed. Creativity is the ability to make or otherwise bring into existences something new, whether a new solution to a problem, a new method or device, or a new artistic object or form. It is the act of seeing things that everyone around us sees while making connections that no one else has made.

No entrepreneur or enterprise, however successful and big, can continue to hold a place of leadership unless it recognizes that modern business operates in a world of galloping change which creates new problems, risk and opportunities and for which they have to mobilize the enterprise’s resources before changes make their impact felt. To do successfully, the entrepreneur and enterprise should know where this firm is going and how the firm will get there. This is turn requires a clear definition of the company’s business which will enable it to continually adopt operations to the realities of the market place, ‘the very corner stone of survival and growth”

“were it not for creativity, culture itself would not be created.”

Pearce (1974)

All innovation begins with creative ideas. Creativity is the starting point for innovation. Creativity is however necessary but not sufficient condition for innovation. Innovation is the implantation of creative inspiration.

Creativity is marked by the ability to create, bring into existence, to invent into a new form, to produce through imaginative skill, to make to bring into existence something new. Creativity is not ability to create out of nothing, but the ability to generate new ideas by combining, changing, or reapplying existing ideas. Some creative ideas are astonishing and brilliant, while others are just simple, good practical ideas that no one seems to have thought, of yet.

Creativity is also an attitude, the ability to accept change and newness, a willingness to play with ideas and possibilities. It is necessary to know that we live in a thinker’s world. It is therefore, not surprising to see that the men/women who are ahead are those who see ahead with the eyes of their mind. Men and women who have engaged their minds in resourceful thinking to generate idea and products, which stand the test of time. In making things better, the goals are usually to improve productivity And efficiency, achieve speed, enhanced comfort and convenience, influence returns positively, and so much more.

People become more creative when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, satisfaction, and challenge of the situation and not by external pressures; the passion and interest – a person’s internal desire to do something unique to show-case himself or herself; the person’s sense of challenge, or a drive to crack a problem that no one else has been able to solve.

Within every individual, creativity is a function of three components:

  1. Expertise :  Expertise encompasses everything that a person knows and can do in the broad domain of his or her work- knowledge and technical ability
  2. Creative thinking skills:  Creative thinking refers to how you approach problems and solutions- the capacity to put existing ideas together in new combinations. The skill itself depends quite a bit on personality as well as on how a person thinks and works
  3. Motivation: Expertise and creative thinking are the entrepreneur’s raw materials or natural resources. Motivation is the drive and desire to do something, an inner passion and interest. When people are intrinsically motivated, they engage in their work for the challenge and enjoyment of it.

Innovation is the process of bringing the best ideas into reality, which triggers a creative idea, which generates a series of innovative events. Innovation is the creation of new value. Innovation is the process that transforms new ideas into new value- turning an  idea into value. You cannot innovate without creativity. Innovation is the process that combines ideas and knowledge into new value. Without innovation an enterprise and what it provides quickly become obsolete.

Innovation is the successful development of competitive advantage and as such, it is the key to entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurs are the “dreamers”, who take hands on responsibility for creating innovation. It is the presence of innovation that distinguishes the entrepreneur from others.

The C’s of Innovation are:

  1. Challenge: What we are trying to change or accomplish-the “pull”
  2. Customer focus: Creating value for your customers – the “Push”
  3. Creativity: Generating and sharing the idea(s)- the “brain”
  4. Communication: The flow of information and ideas –the “life blood”
  5. Collaboration: People coming together to work together on the idea(s) – the “heart.”
  6. Completion: Implementing the new idea-the “muscle”.
  7. Contemplation; Learning and sharing lessons lead to higher competency-the “ladder”
  8. Culture: The playing field of innovation includes:
    • Leadership (sees the possibilities and positions the team for action-the role model)
    • People (diverse groups of radically empowered people innovate –the source of innovation)
    • Basic values (trust and respect define and distinguish an innovative organization-the backbone).
    • Innovation   values   (certain    values   stoke   the   fires   that   make    the “impossible” possible-the Spark).
  9. Context: Innovation is shaped by interactions with the world.

In a competitive business environment, the entrepreneur and the enterprise should continue to seek lout now opportunities and make the necessary arrangement to convert them into new goods and services. Innovation should, therefore, impregnate the entire enterprise for the creation and invention of competitive edge and relevancy in the market place.
Innovation can take several forms:
i. Innovation in processes, including changes and improvement to methods. These contribute to increases in productivity. Which lowers cost and helps to increase demand.
ii. Innovation in products or services. While progressive Innovation is predominant, radical innovation opens up new markets. These lead to increases in effective demand which encourages increases in investment and employment.
iii. Innovation in management and work organization, and the exploitation of human resources, together with the capacity to anticipate techniques.

In addition, both innovation and entrepreneurship demand creativity.

Growth and development cannot be sustained without additional innovations (usually in the product or services or in its marketing) with additional innovations, firms become “glamorous” Introducing new products is usually seen as part of the process of innovation, which is itself seen as the engine driving continued growth and development.

The “winning performance” of the entrepreneur and the organization focuses on.

  • Competing on quality not prices:
  • Domination of a market niche;
  • Competing in an area of strength
  • Having tight financial, and operating controls:
  • Frequent product or service innovation (particularly important in manufacturing).

Creativity and Innovation are at the heart of the spirit of enterprise. It means striving to perform activities differently or to perform different activities to enable the entrepreneur deliver a unique mix of value. Thus the value of creativity and innovation is to provide a gateway for astute entrepreneurship—actively searching for opportunities to do new things, to do existing things in extraordinary ways. Creativity and Innovation therefore, trigger and propel first-rate entrepreneurship in steering organization activities in whatever new directions are dictated by market conditions and customer preferences, thereby delighting the customers to the benefit of the stakeholders. Innovation also means anticipating the needs of the market, offering additional quality or services, organization efficiently, mastering details, and keeping cost under control.

Article : HBR The Value of Creativity and Innovation in Entrepreneurship

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