Ideas Won’t Put Food on the Table! #23 #cong18


Be creative. Be innovative.

These two words are:
1. over used
2. misunderstood
3. under appreciated
…but together they can bring you a long way.

4 Key Takeaways:

  1. Be creative and innovative.
  2. Be the thinker and the doer.
  3. Be the lone nut seeking the first follower.
  4. Or else be the first follower.

About Noreen Henry:

Noreen Henry is a lecturer in IT at the Mayo campus of GMIT. She lectures in IT support, training, project management & service management on the IT Support and Computer Services Management course and chair the B. Sc. (Hons.) in Digital Media & Society. She has a particular interest in developments in IT and education.

Contacting Noreen Henry:

You can follow Noreen on Twitter or reach her by email.

By Noreen Henry.

Creative is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “Relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something.”

Innovative is defined as “(of a person) introducing new ideas; original and creative in thinking.”

In my simplified understanding and appreciation being creative is coming up with the ideas and being innovative is bringing the idea to reality. Or creativity and innovation could be considered as the difference between thinking and doing.

So, can one person be both creative and not innovative? Do they always come together? Is one better than the other? Can you teach someone to be creative and/or innovative?

Loads of people have loads of ideas but not all come to fruition. Steve Jobs reflected on Thinkers and Doers as “it’s very easy to take credit for the thinking, the doing is more concrete… it’s very easy for someone to say ‘Oh I thought of this three years ago’ usually when you dig a little deeper you find that the people that really did it were also the people that really worked through the hard intellectual problems”

Steve obviously values the doers.

Theodore Levitt, former editor of Harvard Business Review, published a controversial article in 1963 titled “Creativity is Not Enough”, following is an extract. 4

“Creativity” is not the miraculous road to business growth and affluence that is so abundantly claimed these days. And for the line manager, particularly, it may be more of a millstone than a milestone. Those who extol the liberating virtues of corporate creativity over the somnambulistic vices of corporate conformity may actually be giving advice that in the end will reduce the creative animation of business. This is because they tend to confuse the getting of ideas with their implementation—that is, confuse creativity in the abstract with practical innovation; not understand the operating executive’s day-to-day problems; and underestimate the intricate complexity of business organizations….

The fact that you can put a dozen inexperienced people into a room and conduct a brainstorming session that produces exciting new ideas shows how little relative importance ideas themselves actually have. Almost anybody with the intelligence of the average businessman can produce them, given a halfway decent environment and stimulus. The scarce people are those who have the know-how, energy, daring, and staying power to implement ideas….

Theodore in his male dominated world is also looking for the innovators, the doers.

If innovation is the greater ability, can we teach someone to be innovative or is it a personal attribute? Is it a personal characteristic or a skill? Is it your tolerance of risk? And will put food on the table?

Sometimes the braver position is the person that sees the value in your idea, trusts your vision and joins in.

The Lone Nut

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