"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Innovation and Creativity in Organizations

The classic definition of innovation is the process of making improvements by introducing something new (The American Heritage Dictionary). Formally, we might signify innovation as a process in which you can develop and implement new ideas in organisations. Innovations are initiated to people who want to build up or enhance themselves, and become more successful, it directs its way to the growth of many innovations for the whole economy. In the organisational context how ever, innovation is the performance and growth through advancement in competence, productivity, quality, competitive positioning, market share etc. All organisations can innovate, including for example hospitals, universities, and local governments. For innovation to occur, something more that the generation of creative idea or insight is required: you must make a difference, for example coming up with new strategies and ideas within the organisation.
Product innovations are usually very clear to customers or clients, since they are everyday consumer products. Therefore, we can identify Digital cameras, DVDs players, palm pilot, iPods etc, as innovative products.
Process innovations are the new ways of designing and building products, manufacturing products, or delivering services via e-mail. New technology is a process innovation, whether it’s creating new technology or new executive information systems.
Creativity by small groups or individuals is also a big part of innovation. Creativity is defined as the production of original but potentially useful ideas, therefore, creativity helps “develop and discover new ideas”.
Some factors that influence innovation and creativity are:
Idea Champions, these are people who see the key idea and develop upon it and lead it through implementation. Communication is also a main part; the best innovators are those who can recognize the importance of the outside information, importing and incorporating this information and then applying it. Lastly, Resources and Rewards provide funds in the obvious sense; additionally they are a strong cultural symbol that the organization truly supports innovation. Time is also a crucial factor for innovators, since it requires a lot of creative brainstorming to come up with new ideas.


1. Drawing on the artist within. Betty Edwards. New York: Simon and Schuster, c1986.
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innovation
3. http://www.cforc.org/newsdata/news.asp?StoryID=73

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