Innovation & Creativity

Dr. Shetty has proved that innovation can blossom at the grass root level from doorman to chairman, Every one can experience the joy of innovation” – Mr. V. Narasimhan, Executive Director, Brakes India, Foundry Division, on Innovate! 90 Days To Transform Your Business.

Innovation and Creativity are complimentary to each otherTo become an Innovation Star read ‘Innovate! 90 Days to Transform Your Business’.
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The culture of innovation in large companies is always a systematic long term process gradually involving all key players in the company through small commando teams of between five to seven people. Beginning with building the intangible positive field, it involves the systematic practice of thinking tools, the formula for thinking out of the box. The tools are embedded like gems in the necklace of the positive field. Regular practice of the tools makes them a part of your mental software. It becomes as much a part of you as breathing.
To think systematically, every day, is not a normal habit. One has to make the effort. Involving others makes it easier because thinking as an interactive activity is far simpler than thinking alone. The ping pong of team interaction helps keep new ideas in the air, while developing them. As in weight watchers, the support of the team is critical for sustained innovation.

Some people ask how one can go through this whole process and get any work done. The answer is simple. While learning to drive one has to keep so many separate actions in mind. But once you have learnt to drive, most of these actions become automatic. Often, you are almost on auto pilot as you think of the day ahead. The same thing happens once the process of innovation and the thinking tools are internalized.
Creation is infinite, without beginning and without end; the ever-moving ripple in an infinite lake.

What is Creativity?

Creativity is ‘creating’ what you imagine. The Latin word for create is ‘creare,’ ‘to bring into existence, to originate.’ To be creative is to have the ability to create things characterized by originality.
As C.K. Prahalad put it, every company has before it 100 alternative futures. It is creativity that enables you to explore these alternatives in your mind.
3 To be original, new and unique
3 To be useful and valuable

What is Innovation?

Innovation deals with bringing in new methods and ideas resulting in required changes leading to successful innovation. The term innovate derives from the Latin
‘to renew’.

Creativity and Innovation are different in principle. Creativity is the spark which starts the fire and innovation the fire which cooks and bakes. Planned innovation requires analysis, systems and hard work.

Why Innovate?

Innovation turns problems and inconveniences into profitable elements of a business. The mightiest
modern organizations have been built in a few short years through the power of information and the human mind. Helping to manage human imagination, to develop creative solutions, will be the secret of winners in the future. Innovation can be seen in every field and every sector. Corporations that adopt innovation as a way of life never need to compete. Theirs is the path where no one has gone before; the path which leads to untold success.
‘There are no limitations to the possibilities of the human mind. Microsoft’s only factory asset is the human imagination.’
—Frank Moody

Consistent innovation leading to profitability is what corporate India needs. This will not happen through mere rhetoric. An ‘Innovation Initiative’, which embraces everyone from the doorman to chairman, will create a culture of innovation. This initiative is for those who are willing to dive in and stay the course of a long-term organizational development intervention. The gaps in achieving this goal for Indian companies are clear. There is currently a lack of interest in investing resources to build a culture of innovation, a certain reluctance to install the innovation thinking tools.

Creativity may be, as Plato called it, divine madness, but if you want usable innovations to bring results, there needs to be a method to the madness. It is a fine balance which involves taming the crazy idea to suit the business and each innovation initiative needs to be tailor-made for the organization. What is required, in the words of Shekhar Arora of Ashok Leyland is, ‘365 days of innovation’. The process of building a safe, nurturing, climate has to start from the top. Every participant has to become aware of the verbal, tonal and non-verbal landmines that lie buried in the existing culture, waiting to blow up new ideas.
An even more important aspect of the initiative is installing the thinking tools. Every employee should learn and practise the tools which are the mathematics of innovation. Regular practise and use in meetings can make the generation and taming of new ideas an everyday occurrence. Thinking tools are not an occasional indulgence. They need to become the oxygen of corporate existence.