Is Creativity, the ‘Mother’ of Innovation?
It is not very often that creativity is linked with innovation. Traditionally innovation has been housed in the realm of technology, science and futuristic interventions. The left-brained were integral to this ecosystem and for centuries we celebrated engineers, scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, rightfully so. In their book Creative Confidence, the authors Tom and David Kelley point out that creativity is the single most important leadership quality of an enterprise. As we move from a knowledge economy to building a creative economy, the new core competency is creativity - the game is changing.
Interestingly with the AI algorithms aided with technology that has forced us to think logically, there arises a greater need for people to utilize this ‘big’ data and creatively tell stories using technology and humans as protagonists, for the benefit of humankind. Daniel Pink in his groundbreaking book, ‘A
Whole New Mind’, explores how right-brain thinkers are wired for 21st century success. The book summarizes the fact that transformative abilities such as empathy and creativity are crucial in a new age. It gives shape different form of thinking and a new approach to life.
A new wave is engulfing our world. On one hand, creative fields are becoming increasingly innovative and progressive like technology marrying music, ethical and sustainable fashion addressing labour and environmental issues and design and art not being driven entirely by aesthetics but by functionality sustainability and a purpose to contribute to the ecosystem. On the other hand, ground-breaking innovations such as robotics, molecular gastronomy in food, design-led thinking for creating spaces for the differently abled, for example, are now adopting the creative route.
Interestingly enough, the theme for the 2018 World IP Day was ‘Powering Change: Women in Innovation and creativity.’ 2018 is a watershed year for women and it is encouraging to see that women are being recognized for innovation as well as creativity. Most importantly, women are being trusted with the goal of marrying the both, to power change. While women have always been acknowledged for their creativity, innovation was hiding in plain sight. With women driving innovation through the lens of creativity it is indeed an innovative approach in driving businesses and building enterprises.
Some of the path-breaking innovations for women by women such as the Wonderbag, the WaterWheel, and BMB personify the ideology of women harnessing the power of innovation to drive societal change and better the lives of other women. Allowing innovation to explore creativity and problem-solving, can help women break down the perceivable barriers and create opportunities that allow transformative changes in their lives.
Innovation is cyclical. The more women innovate, the more they inspire and allow other women to innovate. Cultivating innovation to empower women and encourage gender equality allows leaders, businesses, governments, and women themselves to create new solutions to difficult problems.
According to a working paper by the Institute for Management Research, Radboud University, titled, Gender Diversity and Innovation, gender diversity increases the likelihood to innovate for firms operating in countries with rising levels of women’s economic opportunity on the one hand and decreases the innovation likelihood for firms operating in countries that are at the low end of providing women’s economic opportunity on the other hand. Furthermore, the studies pointed out that there is a direct positive effect of gender diversity on firms’ likelihood to innovate at all levels in the organization.
Let women from across the globe unite to build and sustain an enabling ecosystem that catalyzes innovation and creativity and ushers ‘new ideas’ of doing things differently. Thus, creativity, mindfulness and opportunities complete the circle of powering positive change in everything we do, driving innovation in all that we work towards redefining mankind.
Director General, Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI)
KANCHANA TK, Director General, Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI)