The creativity and innovation mashup

In the Pirate’s Dilemma, author Matt Mason shows how youth culture drives innovation and is changing the way the world works. Innovation, he says, occurs when people personalize their experience with products and services to create their own, often infringing on what already exists, impacting, threatening and influencing the things as they are.Pirate's_dilemma_cover

Simple strategy if you want to innovate: take something you are already using, mix it with something else you really like, create a new product or service and voilà.  Find some others who really like your idea, sell it to them, and become rich. It’s that easy.

The mash-up is where it’s at.  In music, artists take two or more tracks and remix them into one track. Mason’s book is full of examples.

Creativity and Innovation used to be two tracks and seem to be merging into one. Is there a remix afoot? Insiders in both areas of practice used to see a clear divide between the two. Now, many Creativity Professionals call themselves innovation experts and many Innovation Professionals use creative thinking practices for insights and delivery.

In essence, are they accomplishing the same end – novel and relevant results?  Is there truly a difference between the two?  Perhaps it’s in the focus of approach.  Creativity folk seem to pay more attention to the people side of moving forward while innovation is more directed to achieving measurable results.

There’s another mindset being birthed that aligns with the emerging new way of doing business.  It’s not about output alone, nor is it just about the people; it’s both, at the same time. So what do we call that, eh?

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About marcisegal

Founder, World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21. Speaker,
This entry was posted in change, creativity and innovation, creativity general and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The creativity and innovation mashup

  1. I think mashups do represent a nice way to move forward in creating new concepts, not unlike the “Combine” dimension of SCAMPER.

    However, I think that creative thinking, creativity, and innovation are three different things, thus the need for three different words. As an analogy, it’s kind of like saying “Twitter” “networking” and “Social Media” are the same things. They are certainly related, but there are significant differences.

    In my opinion (based on my research), creative thinking leads to creativity which can (but doesn’t always) lead to innovation. There is a clear relationship between the three, but they are distinct. Creative thinking is something one does (a skill, an action), which leads to creativity. Creative thinking is also necessary for innovation, not just in the development of the concept, but in the process of figuring out how to bring the concept into the world, whether that concept results in a product, a process, a new business model, etc.

    • marcisegal says:

      Yes, they may be distinct to some; others however share a perception quite different. If we were to collapse the three into one bundle, we’d loose the essence and focus of the unique contributions and energy involved in each. If we were to overlap the three, (as in a Venn diagram) then there would be an implied central essence. I wonder what that overlap would be called, human will for survival? If yes, then each is a pathway, door way, approach toward making the world and our place in it, more satisfying, particularly in these times of rapid rule- breaking changes.

      To me, creativity is personal, it encompasses all that it means to be human; innovation is social, it encompasses all that it means to live in a society; and creative thinking is an approach to releasing new pathways for thought and action for both. (BTW am presenting this framework at the International Society for Professional Innovation Management in Bilbao, Spain ( in a few weeks. Have the research to support.

  2. There is indeed confusion of Creativity and Innovation, and many people claim to be experts in both, thinking that C & I are the same thing (confession: I used to think that as well).

    Part of the problem is the lack of an agreed upon definition of either. In the world that exists in my head, Creativity is a phenomenon, not a skill. Creative thinking the skill that is required for bringing forth creativity. And Innovation is launching new and useful ideas.

    I challenge everyone to define the terms they’re slinging about without much apparent thought. Here’s my whack at it:

    • marcisegal says:

      Agree with you Jonathan and wonder if perhaps they are merging into the same thing each representing a different end of the spectrum. Looking at cultural integration as a model, I’m wondering if it is important to separate the two, or, to form a whole new culture bringing together positive elements from both.

      Wondering too if the signs of the times, mashups, may have an influence on ways we move forward with creating novel and relevant results.

    • marcisegal says:

      Another wonder – what makes a creativity expert a creativity expert? What makes an innovation expert an innovation expert?

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