Chapter 1. What are innovation, creativity and design?

This chapter provides an introduction to innovation, design and creativity. It sets out the meaning of these words in the context of this book, how they fit together, and introduces some useful frameworks for the subjects.


New opinions are always suspected and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.

John Locke

Innovation, just as many other things in management and life, means different things to different people. What does innovation mean in the context of this book?

Often 'creativity' and 'innovation' are used interchangeably. However, there are fundamental differences. In fact, creativity is an essential building block for innovation. This is reflected in the now widely accepted definition of innovation equalling creativity plus (successful) implementation. Creativity alone, to come up with ideas, is not enough. In order to reap the benefits one needs to do something with it. History tells many tales of great inventors who were not able to reap the benefits of their labour, think of the x-ray scanner, invented by EMI but made a commercial success by General Electric, VCRs which had been invented by Ampex/Sony but were successfully commercialised by Matsushita, or the vacuum cleaner, invented by a Mr Spengler but commercialised by Hoover. Why might that be? Let's take a closer look at the two components of innovation, creativity and implementation.

Implementation – putting ideas ...

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