Creativity vs Innovation – Difference and Comparison

What is Creativity?

“Creativity” refers to the ability to come up with a novel approach, a new tool or a brand-new solution to problems. Wyckoff (1991) describes creativity as being original and helpful, making connections no one else has made while seeing things that everyone else sees.

Invention, making, and bringing something into existence are what distinguish creativity from other forms. A creative individual produces new ideas by integrating, altering, or reapplying preexisting ideas. Creativity is the capacity to integrate, alter, or reapply preexisting ideas.

Creativity is also a mindset, the ability to embrace novelty and change, the willingness to experiment with ideas and possibilities. It is also the practice of appreciating the positive while constantly looking for ways to improve it.

In the same way, creativity is a process. By continually making small changes to their work, creative people strive steadily to develop new ideas and solutions.

In order to be creative, one must possess three components: Expertise, Creative thinking skills, Motivation. Expertise is concerned with what a person knows and what he or she can do within the scope of their work (knowledge and technical skills).

Creative thinking involves the ability to combine existing ideas to produce new solutions to problems. It involves how you approach problems and propose solutions.

Motivation comes from a sense of passion and interest, which drives people to be creative because of their interest, satisfaction and excitement.

What is Innovation?

Innovating involves bringing the most creative ideas to life, which spurs creativity.

Innovation is the process of transforming original ideas into added value. Innovation is the process that transforms an original idea into value. You cannot innovate without creativity.

An enterprise and what it provides quickly become obsolete if it does not combine ideas and knowledge. Innovation is the process by which ideas and knowledge are combined into something of value.

As defined by the dictionary, innovation is the introduction of something novel or different. Innovation is the implementation of creative inspiration. Innovation is defined by the National Innovation Initiative (NII) as “an intersection of insight and invention, creating social and economic value”. Innovating is about adding value to customer satisfaction – delighting them.

Products and services that are innovative can help manufacturers anticipate and meet customer needs, as well as new ways to utilize technology. Through new connections, insights gained from trips outside of one’s discipline or location, and active, collegial networks and fluid boundaries, innovation is fostered. By organizing circles of exchange, information is not merely accumulated or stored, but also created. Wheatley (1994) argues that knowledge is created by connecting things that weren’t connected before.

In order for an idea to become an innovation, it must be widely adopted and incorporated into people’s everyday lives. Great innovation requires a fresh way of thinking, an understanding of people, and an entrepreneurial willingness to take risks.

Difference Between Creativity and Innovation

In contrast, creativity consists of generating ideas, while innovation is all about sifting, refining, and, most importantly, implementing them.

A divergent approach to thinking is creative, whereas a convergent approach is innovative.

The purpose of creativity is to generate ideas, while the purpose of innovation is to turn those ideas into action.

It is not enough to be creative i.e. to come up with new ideas. Innovation requires applying existing knowledge and developing appropriate new knowledge to bring new ideas into reality. It is difficult to innovate without the existence of new ideas.

Innovation is a much more difficult proposition than creativity.

Achieving economic success and social progress on the global level depends on innovation, not just for individual and organizational success

Comparison Between Creativity and Innovation

 Parameter of ComparisonCreativityInnovation
ConceptIt deals with the ability to create new knowledge out of existing knowledgeIt deals with the ability to create and apply the new knowledge or information generated
ComponentsExpertise, Creative Thinking Skills, MotivationProblem Finding, Idea Forming & Developing, Implementing
Literature DefinitionCreativity is defined as a novel and useful product, system, or service.Innovation is defined as marketing a novel and useful product, system, or service.
DifficultyCreativity can be done in the absence of existing ideasInnovation becomes a much more difficult proposition in the absence of existing ideas.
Thinking PatternDivergentConvergent


Gurteen, D. (1998). Knowledge, Creativity and Innovation. Journal of Knowledge Management, 2(1), 5–13. doi:10.1108/13673279810800744 Okpara, F. O. (2007). The Value Of Creativity And Innovation In Entrepreneurship. Journal of Asia Entrepreneurship and Sustainability, 1(1), 4.