Innovation and creativity can be defined as practices that re-develop the means by which current processes, devices and methods of production are done. In short, they can be considered as the means by which current methods/inventions are viewed, potential alternatives thought up, plans made and the application of the aforementioned practices into an output that can be defined as innovative or creative (Perakis 2011).
By itself, the term “innovation” can be thought of as the practice by which new ideas, inventions or methods are introduced to the general public. Examples of this can be seen within the past decade with the release of the Apple iPhone which revolutionized the smart phone market and resulted in the development of new industries and technological innovations that centred on the mobile phone market.
This innovative device also resulted in several cultural revolutions resulting in the proliferation of new social practices such as the “selfie” (i.e. the practice of taking pictures of yourself and posting them on the internet), instant news in the form of Twitter as well as other similar cultural nuances that are too numerous to mention.
Creativity on the other hand has roughly the same definition as innovation in that it focuses on the creation of new and valuable ideas, concepts or processes. However, unlike innovation, creativity can encompass a far lesser “medium” in that it is commonly associated with personal achievement (So Young & Chan Sik 2010).
Examples of people defined as creative can be seen in the work of Mozart, Beethoven, Albert Einstein and other great minds that have influenced the scientific and cultural mindsets of the present day generation.
Based on such a definition, the importance of innovation and creativity for organizations can be defined as follows:
- It enables corporations to penetrate new markets.
- They help an organization to continue to be competitive.
- Such practices increase the value of the corporation as a whole.
- The proliferation of innovative or creative practices within an organization is a good indicator of the quality of a company’s workforce.
Examples of Corporations Implementing Creative and Innovation Committees
One company that is famous for its creative and innovative practices is Google Incorporated. Their pursuit of creativity and innovation gave rise to the creation of a committee that focused on allowing employees some “free time” in order to pursue projects that the employees believed would benefit the company as a whole (Levy 2011).
The committee in this case acted as an evaluator in order to determine the overall viability of what was being created and its possible application into the current operations of the company.
Basically, the committee that was behind creative and innovative projects for Google acted as the judge and jury for the “special” projects of the employees. Funding or even help from other employees was sometimes given to particular projects that showed a considerable degree of promise when it came to innovative developments.
Some of the present day manifestations of such practices come in the form of Gmail and Google Docs which were originally projects that employees at the company did in their spare time yet manifested into some of the most popular applications that Google has at the present (Levy 2011).
The committee works as an internal means of evaluation that judges the application of particular projects when it comes to the long term plans of the company. It functions as a means of limiting useless activities (i.e. projects that would not benefit the company in any way) in favour of developments that have a high chance of success.
From a certain perspective, it can be stated that the committee for creativity and innovation within Google utilizes the “top-down” approach when it comes to its monitoring and control of projects since they place a strict focus on projects that have a reasonable applicability to long term plans that are in line with what the company is setting out to do (Levy 2011).
One company that has been at the forefront of creative ideas and concepts is GE. The company has actually opened up an innovation centre that focuses on the development of alternative fuel vehicles (Christensen 2011). From an innovation standpoint, this venture by the company showcases its resolve to continuously develop new technologies that make it a market leader in numerous industries.
Do note though that due to the sheer size of the company and the number of industries that it is involved it, this paper has chosen to focus on the innovation committee in charge of its alternative fuel vehicles due to the potential it has in revolutionizing the way we travel (Christensen 2011).
The committee in charge of this project is primarily focused on research and development in the various means by which different types of fuels that can be utilized by modern day cars (Christensen 2011).
The committee in this case basically acts as a research board that either provides funding for proposed projects by the researchers within the facility or denies them the funding based on the lack of conceivable evidence regarding the effectiveness of the presented approach.
This differs somewhat from the approach taken by Google wherein while a “top-down” approach was implemented when it came to the type of projects that could be pursued, Google’s committee did not demand that the projects follow defined project outlines as set by the company (i.e. so long as the project was in line with company interests, Google did not care how they employee went about in accomplishing it).
This showcases the difference in approaches when it comes to innovation committees when it comes to the different types of companies out there.
Amount Spent by Companies on Creative and Innovative Concepts
|Samsung||10.4 Billion Dollars|
|Intel||10.1 Billion Dollars|
|IBM||6.3 Billion Dollars|
|Sony||5.7 Billion Dollars|
|5.2 Billion Dollars|
|Cisco||5.8 Billion Dollars|
|Microsoft||9 Billion Dollars|
|Apple||2.8 Billion Dollars|
|Panasonic||6.6 Billion Dollars|
|Amazon.com||2.9 Billion Dollars|
(Industrial R&D Perspectives and Forecasts 2012)
Based on what has been presented, it can be seen that creative and innovative practices are the backbone of any company’s attempt at continuing to be relevant within their respective market environments.
When taking into consideration the sheer amount of money companies spend each year when it comes to their budgets that focus on such practices, it does not become surprising that the amount spent each year continues to increase due to the sheer level of competition between the various companies that are involved.
Overall, this paper has showcased what creative and innovative practices are, provided examples of such practices and revealed the current budgets these companies allocate towards the development of new innovative projects.
Christensen, T 2011, ‘Modularised eco-innovation in the auto industry’, Journal Of Cleaner Production, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 212-220.
‘Industrial R&D Perspectives and Forecasts’ 2012, R&D Magazine, vol. 54, no. 7, p. 41.
Levy, K 2011, ‘How creativity takes centre stage at Google’, Campaign, vol. 42, pp. 12-13
Perakis, E 2011, ‘How to grow creativity & innovation in your company’, Global Focus: The EFMD Business Magazine, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 32-35
So Young, S, & Chan Sik, J 2010, ‘Effect of Creativity on Innovation: Do Creativity Initiatives Have Significant Impact on Innovative Performance in Korean Firms?’, Creativity Research Journal, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 320-328